After a dismal start to the season culminated in the 6-0 thrashing by Queen’s Park on Saturday, Falkirk parted company with manager Paul Sheerin earlier this week, kicking off the race to replace him as Bairns manager.

While some fans are unhappy at sporting director Gary Holt remaining in his post, there’s some excitement as the Falkirk support look ahead to their fourth (fifth if you count both Lee Miller and David McCracken) new boss in as many years.

The prospect of being stuck in League One for another season, and the very real threat of part-time football that comes with it, has the Bairns support desperate to see things turn around quickly for the two-time Scottish Cup winners.

Assistant manager Danny Grainger has been handed the reins in the short-term while Falkirk look for a new manager, but with as much upheaval at boardroom level for the Bairns just now, they might just take their time in appointing the next manager.

But who could take the reins at Falkirk as they try to save their season? We’ve taken a look at some of the possible contenders to replace Paul Sheerin in the dugout for the Bairns if they don’t stick with Grainger:

Brian Rice

Probably the most obvious candidate – and the bookies’ favourite – to take the reins at a club he knows well after stints as player and coach with Falkirk in the past.

After leaving Hamilton, Chipper is out of work and has seen enough of Falkirk recently to hit the ground running. He’s likely to be a popular choice with the Falkirk fans too if he got the job.

It would be a huge surprise if he wasn’t interested in the role.

Neil McCann

McCann seems to have his name linked with pretty much every vacancy in Scottish football and as an ex-player for Falkirk, he’s also familiar with the club.

It’s understood McCann turned down the chance to speak to Falkirk over the summer regarding taking the job prior to Sheerin’s appointment and it’s unlikely things have changed enough in the six months following to have prompted a 180.

Very much an outsider for the job and, in truth, it would probably be something of a gamble for Falkirk just now.

Kris Boyd

The former Rangers and Kilmarnock striker has made a name for himself as something of an outspoken pundit with his newspaper columns and Sky TV appearances and was touted online as news of Sheerin’s departure broke.

Whether he’d be willing to take the plunge in such a high-risk role is anyone’s guess but Boyd certainly has the background to make for a good manager.

His lack if inexperience makes him an even bigger gamble than McCann though and there doesn’t seem to be much chance of Boyd being the next Falkirk boss.

Gary Holt

Stranger things have happened.

It would be a VERY unpopular appointment but Holt does have a decent reputation as a manager and his arrival at Falkirk as sporting director came as something of a surprise.

The saying ‘if you need something done right, do it yourself’ springs to mind although some would argue that Holt has got little right in his current role so far.

Kevin Thomson

First off, Thomson taking charge is probably even less likely than Holt BUT the Kelty boss has a reputation that is very quickly growing within the game and a quick step up to League One from League Two wouldn’t be the most outrageous idea in the world.

Thomson is almost certain to stick by Kelty though and repay the loyalty the Maroon Machine have shown in him by giving him his first manager’s role but Falkirk could actually be a very good fit for him.

Falkirk still have aspirations of being a Premiership club and, while the same is true of Kelty, there likelihood is Falkirk would be the more realistic of the two to get their first – if they can get their act together.

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