Rothes’ search for a new manager is likely to run into next week and it is understood four candidates are set to be interviewed.
The Speysiders – who face Strathspey Thistle at Mackessack Park in the Breedon Highland League tonight – parted company with Ross Jack on January 8.
Applications to be Jack’s successor closed on Friday and Rothes have narrowed down the contenders to a shortlist.
It is understood the Moray outfit have four interested parties they are set to speak to.
It is likely Bobby Beckwith and Derek Thomson will remain in interim charge for this evening’s encounter with Strathspey as well as Saturday’s game against Inverurie Locos at Mackessack Park.
Key period for Thistle
Meanwhile, Grantown Jags boss Robert MacCormack is hopeful of adding further to his squad as they battle to avoid finishing bottom.
Prior to Saturday’s loss to Brechin City Thistle signed striker John McLeod on loan from Buckie Thistle and goalkeeper Ethan Rae on-loan from Ross County.
Strathspey are seven points adrift at the foot of the Highland League. MacCormack accepts they’re entering a crucial period in their bid to get up the division and avoid a possible relegation play-off.
He said: “Myself and the players know the next few weeks are make or break for us.
“We all know we need to start picking up points and hopefully we can start doing that against Rothes.
“We’re hoping we can get John up to speed and that his goals can get us out of trouble.
“Off the pitch he’s a great guy to have at the club and has a lot to offer on and off the pitch.
“Ethan’s only 16 and he was tremendous on Saturday. We’re looking to bring in one or two more if we can and we’ll see what happens.”
Huntly’s Jack pleased to come back
Elsewhere, Huntly’s Zander Jack says he’s determined to make the most of the years he has left in his playing career.
The defender has returned to the Black and Golds side in recent weeks after 18 months battling various injuries, and is in contention to face Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park tonight.
Abductor and ankle problems have caused Jack problems over the last couple of seasons.
The 32-year-old could also have joined manager Colin Charlesworth’s coaching team, but remains focused on playing.
Jack said: “I want to keep playing as long as I can. I’ve probably only got another couple of years left in me so hopefully I can make the best of it.
“There’s a really good squad here and I think we should be trying to push up the league as much as possible.
“With the abductor issue I was unable to run and you kind of feel like ‘will I come back from these injuries?’
“In the summer I was back and doing well and then in the second game of pre-season I did my ankle ligaments.
“That was another three months, sometimes I was doubting myself and whether I could get back and play at this level.”
Forres haven’t played since January 13 when they lost to Deveronvale.
📑✍️ SIGNING NEWS 📑✍️
Forres Mechanics FC are delighted to announce the signing of experienced midfielder Jamie Michie following his release from Inverurie Loco Works FC.https://t.co/szmdYchJ9m
Welcome to Mosset Park Jamie 🟤🟡⚽️ pic.twitter.com/WtoFN0AXEL
— Forres Mechanics F.C. (@TheCansOfficial) January 12, 2024
Manager Steven MacDonald wants the Can-Cans to get back on track and hopes new signings Jamie Michie and Ryan McRitchie can help in that quest.
He added: “The boys have been training brilliantly over the last two or three weeks and I’m wanting to see us take it into a game.
“Jamie and Ryan coming in has lifted the squad and hopefully we can transfer things into a game and get going again.”
Highland League team news
Elsewhere, Clachnacuddin welcome Inverurie Locos to Grant Street Park. The Lilywhites are without James Anderson, Martin MacKinnon and Zach MacPhee, while the Railwaymen have an unchanged squad from Saturday’s 6-0 win against Nairn County.