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The five-man Fulham search committee charged with identifying the club’s next manager held its second meeting on Thursday.

The panel, who include former Cottagers captain Danny Murphy, convened in London for talks to whittle down a long list of applicants to a shortlist of four or five.

The frontrunners for the post are current caretaker boss Kit Symons, Chris Hughton, Steve Clarke and Gianfranco Zola.

Billy McKinlay, who left the Fulham coaching staff when Martin Jol was sacked last season, is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Felix Magath after being abruptly sacked as Watford boss but it is not certain that he will even be named on the shortlist. Glenn Hoddle and Neil Lennon are among those who will also be considered.

Murphy is joined on the committee by fellow former player Brian McBride, Fulham academy director Huw Jennings, senior Nike director and Fulham fan David Daly, and former Sunderland chairman and Republic of Ireland international Niall Quinn.

They have had an initial meeting to establish the parameters of the search and will now discuss the credentials of those who have applied to be the new manager.

The group will then interview those who have been shortlisted before making their recommendation to Fulham owner Shahid Khan and his right-hand man Mark Lamping, president of Khan’s NFL team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and a non-executive director on the Fulham board.

Khan sacked Magath last month and is searching for his fourth manager since buying the club last year from Mohamed al Fayed.

He knows it is vital to get the next appointment right and bring stability to Fulham, who were relegated from the Barclays Premier League in May and are second from bottom of the Championship with only seven points from 11 games.