Fulham chief football officer Mike Rigg is confident the club will have a new head coach in place before the international break is over.

The Whites are searching for a new man at the helm following their decision to sack Kit Symons in the wake of Saturday’s 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Birmingham City.

Rigg has made it clear that achieving a play-off position was always Symons’ key objective this term and the man who replaces him will be expected to push for a top-six finish.

“We had a difficult job to re-shape the squad,” Rigg explained.

“We got 25 players out and got 12 players in but Kit has been under no illusions since the first day of pre-season.

“The expectations were that we wanted to be in the top six, that’s what all the discussions were, there was no doubt about that.

“We’d set targets at the start of where we wanted to be after 10, 20 games picked up two great results against Reading and Bristol City but we couldn’t afford to drop that momentum against Birmingham.

“But it got to the point in that game where we just thought that was the pivotal moment. We’ve got 30 games left in the season, still enough to get back on track.”

A plethora of names have been touted for the job, which Fulham are keen to stress is that of a head coach rather than a manager, although they look set to miss out on Paul Lambert.

Lambert has been made the leading contender for the Blackburn Rovers hotseat freed up by Gary Bowyer’s axing at Ewood Park yesterday evening.

Nigel Pearson remains the bookies’ favourite and is available after being shown the door by Leicester City in the summer after guiding them to Premier League safety.

“There’s a lot of good people out there,” Rigg said.

“There’s some people in work, some people out of work, and there’s a lot of interest.

“We have to make sure we bring in a successful head coach, that has a proven track record but also fits in with the direction, strategically, that we want to go as a club and ultimately that’s about getting back into the Premier League.

“The international break gives us the luxury of two weeks. The head coach could be in this weekend or it could take a little bit longer.

“We’ve got more than enough professionals in the building to see us through if we need to but ideally we’d like to have someone in time for MK Dons.”

Fulham travel to MK Dons on November 21 and it is likely that Alan Curbishley would take charge of the team if a new boss is yet to be appointed.

Meanwhile, John Carver emerged as another contender for the job last night.