Gary Simpson says he is eager for the chance to restore Lincoln City's fortunes after admitting their decline in recent years has been "painful to watch".
The former Macclesfield boss is among the favourites to succeed David Holdsworth, who left the club by mutual consent on Sunday.
Simpson has a strong affinity with Lincoln having been Keith Alexander's assistant for four years as they reached the play-offs during their reign in 2002 to 2006.
But since leaving the club, City have struggled to recapture their former glory and tumbled out of the Football League two years ago.
Now Simpson, who is without a club after a spell at Macclesfield, is keen on repairing the club's pride.
"The last few years have been painful to watch because of what myself and the gaffer (Keith Alexander) achieved there," he said.
"It's a fantastic club which has such a great set of supporters and they will be hurting at what has happened.
"The club has always and will forever have a place in my heart. We had so many good times there with the gaffer and the lads and I'd love to bring those times back.
"The memories of going to Cardiff and the play-offs are among the best ever and I would relish the chance of trying to lead them back to where they belong."
Simpson was sacked by the Silkmen last March despite having sold players on for in excess of £1m and leading them on a fabulous FA Cup run.
Yet despite making money and Simpson's pleas to strengthen the squad, they slid down the League Two table as injuries also took hold.
When he left, Macclesfield were out of the bottom two as Brian Horton took them down to the Blue Square Bet Premier.