Glenn Ferguson: It would be hypocritical of me to leave Ballymena United
Linfield legend Glenn Ferguson says that whoever follows David Jeffrey into the Windsor Park hot-seat will face the same challenge as David Moyes attempting to fill Sir Alex Ferguson's shoes at Manchester United.
The Ballymena United boss said he was shocked to hear of Jeffrey's imminent departure but ruled himself out of the running to replace him because of his ongoing rebuilding process at Warden Street.
However, with Lee Doherty, Norman Kelly and Wes Lamont among his backroom team, it'll be no surprise if his name remains among the front-runners to take over at the Blues.
"I was surprised because, having been there for so long, I played with him and under him, he was always pretty adamant that he wouldn't walk away," explained Ferguson.
"But the pressures of the game, what the boys have achieved and trying to maintain that is tough, so maybe he's thought he's taken that team as far as he can.
"It's a bit of the Moyes aspect about it, but they'll take their time, they'll pick the right man they think to take the club forward and they'll back him as they have done with David over the years.
"It'll be a long sifting process because I'm sure they'll be inundated with applications.
"My name's been linked before and my name will probably be linked again, but we have our own plans here at Ballymena at this moment in time for what we want to do.
"We knew when we came in there was a lot of work to do and it wouldn't be done overnight but, in the two years we've been here, we think we have progressed.
"We knew it would be slow. We wanted to start competing in semi-finals and finals. We've lost two semi-finals this year, we're now in the quarter-final of the Irish Cup, but we want to finish in the top six of the league.
"I've signed players here – the likes of Jim Ervin, Johnny Taylor and boys like that who we've fixed up on two-year contracts – so it would be a bit hypocritical of me and disappointing for them if I walked out."
It was ironic that two of Jeffrey's star players during his time, and still cutting their teeth in managerial terms, came head to head on the day the apprentices' former master signalled his intention to leave.
Like Ferguson, Oran Kearney's name will also be linked and the Coleraine boss, who guided his side to a 2-2 draw with Ballymena at the weekend and who take on Dungannon Swifts in the Danske Bank Premiership at Stangmore Park tonight (7.45pm), paid a warm tribute to his former manager.
"I know David very well, I had the pleasure of playing under him and working with him and now the pleasure of working against him," he said.
"He's a top man and people have lots of different things to say about David but one thing's for sure, he's a winner.
"His record there speaks for itself and he's done a superb job there but I suppose it's like everything – it has to come to an end sooner or later.
"I'm sure I'll get speaking to him later in the week and wish him all the best.
"But from a personality point of view in relation to the league, he's been nothing but positive for it in the last three decades."