WORCESTER City chairman Dave Boddy has refused to speculate on potential successors to John Barton with several big names rumoured to be gunning for the manager's job.

Among those linked to the post include former City striker Andy Preece, Kidderminster Harriers' youth team coach Shaun Cunnington, ex-Notts County manager Gary Mills and former Forest Green Rovers boss Tim Harris.

City's board of directors have re-ceived 20 managerial applications since Barton's departure last Thursday, and they met yesterday to discuss the ideal profile of their new man.

However, Boddy is determined not to enter speculation on who might step in to the St George's Lane hot-seat.

Boddy said: "We've identified the profile of manager we are looking for. We'll be having a look at all applications over the next few days and we'll narrow it down to a shortlist."

Carlisle's veteran striker Preece, 37, born in Evesham, is likely to be welcomed by fans following his one-year spell at the Lane in 1989/90.

After starting his career at Evesham, Preece later went on to star in the Football League for Wrexham, Crystal Palace, Blackpool and Bury, who he also managed for four years.

City's reserves lost 3-1 at home to Kidderminster last night in the Central Conference Cup. Harriers scored through Liam Teraud, Ian Foster and a Matt Atkinson own-goal. Dean Clarke scored from the spot for City.