The hunt for a new Hawks manager is already under way, with chairman Derek Pope inundated with phone calls from prospective candidates.
The Hawks parted company with Shaun Gale at the weekend, after the 3-2 defeat at Basingstoke sent them into the bottom three of the Blues Square Bet South table.
Assistant manager Steve Johnson and fitness coach Adie Aymes have agreed to take over until a new man is appointed, although Pope admitted there was no set timescale in mind.
‘I’ve already had lots of phone calls and messages from interested parties,’ said Pope.
‘We won’t be rushing into making a decision and it could take a week or it could take three months.
‘The only thing we can be sure of is we will have someone in place before the start of next season.
‘We are determined to make sure that we get the right person for the future of this club.
‘There are people out there who we would like and it might mean us going to other clubs and touting offers to attract them.
‘What we will do is get a short-list of people who tick all the boxes and then make a decision.
‘We may have to wait and see where we are playing next season first before making a final appointment.
‘Our new vice chairman, Jim Fallon, and I spent all day Sunday working on our plans and we are looking for an ambitious person who wants to help us get the club to where we want to be.
‘From my point of view, it is good to have someone else on board to share the burden.
‘It has to be someone we can trust to try to implement our three-year plan to get back challenging.’
Names already being mentioned for the job include former Bournemouth boss Lee Bradbury, ex-Hawk Liam Daish, recent Basingstoke manager Frank Gray and AFC Totton boss Stuart Ritchie.
In the meantime, Johnson has the task of preparing the team for tonight’s friendly against AFC Bournemouth at Westleigh Park ahead of the crucial visit to Truro City in the league at the weekend.
The Hawks have six games left to haul themselves out of the bottom three and avoid relegation.
‘All the backroom staff have agreed to stay on,’ said Pope. ‘Steve Johnson knows what he is about and Adie Aymes has been professional in everything he has done.
‘They have agreed to run it even if that means until the end of the season.’
Pope also paid tribute to outgoing boss Gale, who will remain at the club to run the highly-successful Football in the Community scheme.
‘No-one could have tried harder than Shaun but for whatever reason on the pitch it hasn’t worked this season,’ said Pope.
‘He has been a fantastic clubman, giving us a superb 11-year service as a player, coach and manager.
‘For all that time he has lived, slept, breathed Havant & Waterlooville and he won’t stop now. We are pleased he is staying at the club in some capacity.’