Brisbane Roar skipper Matt Smith wants long-time assistant coach Rado Vidosic to step up to lead the A-League champions if Ange Postecoglou returns to Melbourne.
Despite leading the Roar to historic back-to-back titles on Sunday night, Postecoglou is expected to announce in the coming days that he'll accept a lucrative offer from Melbourne Victory.
Speculation has been rife for the past fortnight that Australia's most successful domestic mentor was set to defect and, on Monday, he confirmed a resolution would be reached this week.
While Postecoglou, understandably wanting to bask in the glow of the Roar's thrilling 2-1 grand final victory over Perth Glory, kept his thoughts to himself, the fact he refused to say whether he'd already made up his mind suggested bad news for Brisbane.
Smith still holds strong hope Postecoglou might remain with the Roar as they search for a third successive title in 2012-13 but identified Vidosic as the most suitable alternative.
The father of Socceroos and Adelaide United attacking midfielder Dario, Vidosic has been with the club since the A-League kicked off in 2005 and also worked under Miron Bleiberg and Frank Farina.
"If Ange was to go, and again I hope he doesn't, then Rado has done a fantastic job since I've been here and he knows all the systems and he's got the same view point as Ange and the same philosophy as Ange," he said.
"We've got all the senior players contracted to the club and they're suited to Ange's style and Rado knows that better than anyone."
Both Smith and vice-captain Shane Stefanutto were adamant Brisbane, who still have 17 players under contract for next season, would continue to thrive without Postecoglou.
The coach himself said he'd be disappointed if the culture he helped create wasn't strong enough to overcome the loss of any one individual.
"I remember when (former captain) Matty McKay left last year and everyone saying 'how are you going to replace him?'," Postecoglou said. "He was Mr Brisbane Roar and he was a massive part of it.
"But hopefully, we've created a culture and an environment that's gone beyond me and, if I haven't done that, then I've failed in my task."
The man who would be most disappointed is fiery Albanian striker Besart Berisha but not because his team can't overcome the loss.
"If this happens, I will miss him very much because I have finally found a coach where we have a perfect understanding," Berisha said. "He respects the way I am and he just balances it perfect.
"(But) the way the boys are and the way they think about the game, I don't think it will be a problem."
Even if he announces a return to Melbourne, Postecoglou could still be in charge for the Roar's next two Asian Champions League group matches to be played in the next three weeks.
Brisbane's players must keep in check their celebrations, to finish on Tuesday with a ticker-tape parade through the city, as they fly out for Japan on Sunday morning to play FC Tokyo.