Blackburn caretaker boss Eric Black will not accept ongoing uncertainty over the vacant managerial post at Ewood Park as an excuse for a poor performance at Derby this weekend.
Black takes charge of his fourth npower Championship game since Steve Kean's resignation last month, having claimed only two points from the previous three.
Speculation has swirled around Ewood Park following the end of Kean's troubled tenure and, after admitting he possibly expected a new man to be at the helm by this stage, former Birmingham and Wigan coach Black insists his players are ignoring the rumour mill.
"I'm not using it as an excuse, I don't think the players should and I don't think they are to be honest," he said.
"I don't think I could put my hand on my heart and say 'that's the reason (for poor results)', I don't go along with that. They're professional footballers.
"Yes, there's a disruption at the club. Obviously I think everybody would be happier if whoever it's going to be was in place, but it's not an excuse not to perform and that's the way I'm going with it."
As before the international break, Black stated he has received no indication whether he is a candidate to succeed Kean permanently, as Tottenham development coach Tim Sherwood and Blackpool manager Ian Holloway head the list of names linked with the job.
"I'm not involved in the process in terms of recruiting a new manager so I suppose that would have to be directed at Shebby (Singh, Rovers' global advisor)," said the 49-year-old.
"I've been given a remit for the training, the performances and the games, so I'll do that to the best of my ability until I'm told differently."
On the prospective appointment, Black added: "What you don't want to do is make a mistake, but I think the longer it goes on there has to be a direction and obviously the sooner we can get that, the better.
"But it has to be (kept) in mind that we need the right individual."
England Under-20 international goalkeeper Jake Kean, who penned a new two-year contract extension with Blackburn today, dismissed the idea the dressing room is suffering.
"Not in the slightest," he said. "I think we're a strong squad and a good bunch of players.
"There's a lot of camaraderie between everyone. People can judge and make comments from the outside but only we know what's going on in our dressing room and everyone's really happy."