Everton chairman Bill Kenwright insists it is vitally important the club get a manager who is “equally significant” to the departing David Moyes.
The end of the Scot's 11-year tenure at Goodison Park was confirmed when he was announced as Manchester United manager as successor to Sir Alex Ferguson.
Moyes, whose contract expires in six weeks, will remain in place for Everton's final two matches of the season before he officially takes over at Old Trafford on July 1.
Kenwright's job now is to find the right man to not only maintain his manager's good work but also take the club forward.
The Toffees chairman stressed there would be no instant decision - unlike when he recruited Moyes from Preston in 2002 - and they would be scouring far and wide for the best candidate.
"He's a great manager and Manchester United are very lucky," said Kenwright.
"We've had a good 11-year adventure with David and it is my job and the club's job to get a worthy successor and build on what David has brought to the club and hopefully move on from there.
"We will be out there finding the right man for this football club.
"It is important from here on in Everton continues in the David Moyes tradition, in the Everton Football Club tradition, with an equally significant manager - because he has been a significant manager for 11 years.
"Eleven years ago I made a decision and it was an instant decision when I met David, but I don't think that can happen this time.
"We have to be very seriously out there looking to see what kind of candidate is out there who can take the club forward.
"I won't lie to you and say there is no-one in my head, no-one in Everton's head or Everton supporters' heads.
"Everton fans are no fools. They took to David Moyes instantly. I'll be looking to those supporters to get the kind of guidance that true football fans can give to a chairman.
"It's important they get the right man. Of course it is important the club get the right man but they know the adventure they've had for 11 years and they want it to continue and continue to grow and that is vital for them.
"It's a very important part of my life to see that they are not let down because I don't want them let down."
Kenwright said the last couple of days had been tumultuous, although he admitted he suspected this day would come as planning with Moyes about next season ground to a halt several weeks ago.
"It's been an extraordinary 24 hours - one which I wasn't prepared for yesterday morning," he told Sky Sports News.
"It's been a year now since David and I sat down and went through this season and next season and we've been planning for next season until very recently.
"David Moyes has always been my manager and I seriously hoped he would be the manager next season."
Kenwright's suggestion he was not prepared most probably relates to the timing of United's approach more than anything, with chairman most likely thinking he would have to deal with the issue at the end of the season.
The chairman knew Moyes was seriously considering his future and Press Association Sport was told a couple of months ago that groundwork was being done should he decide to go.
A source said it was inconceivable any major business would not be prepared for the possibility of one of their major executives leaving, although there was no suggestion the club had actively explored their options.
"We couldn't stand in his way, let's be honest, because he is out of contract," said Kenwright.
"It was his decision and he's made it.
"We've got two more games with him and it'll be tough for all Evertonians to say goodbye.
"I am pretty convinced Evertonians will only look upon David Moyes with gratitude and admiration."
Everton's England defender Phil Jagielka is confident the club can build on the foundations laid by Moyes.
"Like the rest of the squad I have nothing but the highest regard for David Moyes," he told evertonfc.com.
"He is a first-class operator on and off the training ground and on behalf of the players I would like to place on record my thanks for the work he has done improving the team.
"It was as much of a shock to the dressing room as I'm sure it was to Everton and our fans.
"All the lads wish him the very best for the future but we still have two important Premier League games to play and all our attentions will be focused on winning against West Ham and at Chelsea.
"Once the season is over we can collectively look forward in order to ensure we continue to build on the positive work of the past few seasons."
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