Austin MacPhee "has to be considered" for the Hearts manager's job, says club great Gary Mackay.
MacPhee, 40, is in caretaker charge following Craig Levein's sacking and oversaw the League Cup defeat by Rangers and Saturday's 5-2 Scottish Premiership win over St Mirren.
He also took the team for a spell last season while Levein was unwell and Hearts beat St Mirren 4-1.
"I think he has to be considered, we have to be open-minded," Mackay said.
"My concern is that [owner] Ann Budge has come out and said that it's going to be a name. I'm not fussy what name it is. It could be Nanny McPhee, Brian McPhee, Austin MacPhee, as long as they get results for the Hearts first team. Ultimately, that is what the first team needs.
"What Austin has done when he's been in temporary charge when Craig was unfortunately ill last year, is led the team pretty well. In the league game on Saturday, he did want to show people that he was strong enough to pick his own team when he was in charge."
After playing spells in the United States, Romania and Japan, MacPhee coached with Cowdenbeath and St Mirren before taking on an assistant coach role at Northern Ireland, which he has continued since joining Hearts in 2016.
He was assistant to head coach Ian Cathro, who lasted less than a year in the job, before also working under Levein.
But Mackay, who holds the record for most competitive appearances for Hearts, says MacPhee's association with the previous two team bosses at the club should not affect his chances of getting the manager's job, saying: "Is he tarnished with his association with Michael O'Neill? What a wonderful job Michael O'Neill did when he was involved with the Northern Ireland squad.
"We have to take the positives as well, what the guy's shown at other times in his career, not just at Hearts."
Former Hearts midfielder Michael Stewart
Is he the man to be the manager of Hearts? My gut says no. Is there a role for him in the club somewhere? Probably.
It's very difficult to pass judgement on Austin because there isn't a clear and obvious track record there. Austin has made a very clear attempt to try and show that he would've done things differently. I think he's someone that thinks outside the box.