THE race to become the next manager of Swindon Town has started to heat up and several applicants are believed to have already put their names forward for the role.

Last night Fabrizio Piccareta, the assistant manager to Paolo Di Canio during his time in charge at the County Ground, revealed that he and the rest of the Robins’ backroom staff will leave the club today – meaning the search is on for a new man to take control of the League One leaders.

While speculation persists surrounding the possibility that Di Canio could make a peculiar U-turn and return to the Swindon hotseat, with several bookmakers yesterday making him the favourite for the role, the Advertiser has learnt that the Town job’s appeal has not dwindled despite the recent turbulence around the club.

The former St Mirren and Queen of the South boss Gus MacPherson, who previously applied for the position prior to Di Canio’s appointment in 2011, is interested in taking charge in SN1. MacPherson is believed to have made the final shortlist for the Robins post 22 months ago.

Another potential contender is Andy Thorn, who the Adver understands has applied for the job. Thorn was manager at Coventry during their difficult recent years before being replaced by Mark Robins following the Sky Blues’ relegation from the Championship.

It is also believed that former England caretaker boss Peter Taylor has thrown his hat into the ring. Taylor has most recently been managing the Bahraini national side and has worked at clubs up and down the Football League.

Piccareta said last night after overseeing Swindon’s 3-1 win at Tranmere: “After this fantastic game this is our last game as a technical staff at Swindon Town.

“Tomorrow morning (Wednesday) as a team, we are a team as a technical staff, myself Claudio Donatelli, Domenico Doardo and the physios, we will resign because we are here for Paolo Di Canio. We will follow Paolo Di Canio everywhere even if he coaches Real Madrid or Luton Town.

“We are a team and we have shown in these two years that if you have a strong team, you can achieve this fantastic achievement.

“Nobody can expect Swindon Town Football Club at this point of the season, top of the league. Swindon gave us a lot, but we gave a lot as well to the club.”