Carlisle United have yet to confirm whether caretaker Gavin Skelton will remain in charge for a third game – as their search for a new boss narrows down.

Unlike last Monday, when the Cumbrians were quick to state that Skelton would be at the helm for their next game, Carlisle have made no such pledge today.

They have made no further comment on the detail of their search for a new “head coach” but are understood to have narrowed down their options to a small number of candidates.

Skelton remains in temporary charge but the possibility of a new face in the dugout in time for Saturday’s FA Cup second round trip to Forest Green appears open.

The club have not commented either way as they look to bring the appointment process to a head soon.

A United spokesman would only say today that it remains “an ongoing process”, adding: “We will update as and when we have something to report.”

Skelton will continue to oversee training in the meantime and the Cumbrian has said he will be fully prepared to lead the Blues into their cup tie in Gloucestershire if the club require more time to make a decision.

United – led by director of football David Holdsworth – have held a number of meetings with contenders.

It is understood that the final decision on the appointment will be taken by members of the club’s Holdings board.

That will follow a similar pattern to recent appointments with United’s owners and other influential figures having the decisive say.

The Holdings board comprises owners Andrew Jenkins, John Nixon and Steven Pattison, CUOSC representative Billy Atkinson, director Lord Clark and John Jackson, financial controller of the club’s main financial backers Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

Those in the running according to bookmakers include Neil Redfearn, Michael Bridges, Robbie Stockdale, Kevin Nolan and Owen Coyle. Ex-Newcastle under-23 coach Redfearn was briefly the bookies' favourite over the weekend but former striker Bridges is odds-on again with William Hill.

Carlisle recently said they were looking to appoint a “head coach” and it remains to be seen how that role will differ from that of a “manager”.

Skelton’s future under any new regime will also be clarified and it would be no surprise should the club ask a new boss to work with the Cumbrian, who is regarded highly at Brunton Park.