Paul Barber says the process of finding a new coach is already under way.

Albion’s chief executive and deputy chairman declined to talk about specific names or timeframes as he spoke to media after the 2-0 defeat of Manchester United in Roberto De Zerbi’s final game in charge.

He was also unwilling to talk about styles of coaches.

But he recognised Albion have a group of players suited a certain type of football.

Kieran McKenna came in to odds-on today to make the move to the Amex from Ipswich Town.

Barber said: “There have been lots of names thrown at me but I’m not going to get into names or styles of coaches because I think it would be disrespectful to Roberto, who has barely left this seat.

“Obviously, we have got a squad who play a certain way.

“We have a style of football that the fans enjoy.

“Roberto built on Graham’s work, Graham built on Chris’s work.

“We would like to progress from where we are.

“We are still ambitious and we don’t feel there is a ceiling.”

Barber said De Zerbi’s departure did not reveal a flaw in the way Albion do business.

He added that the club and head coach were parting company on good terms.

Barber added: “I think we worked very hard over the past couple of years to make the relationship as good as it could be.

“All good things come to an end. It’s been a really good two years.

“The first was spectacular and led us to our highest ever finish in European football, the second was tougher because of getting to European football and all the extra games – we contended with a lot of injuries at critical times on critical players.

“Finishing 11th and feeling a little bit disappointed, if you look at our history, is a sign of progress itself, is a credit to Roberto, his staff and his players.

“Obviously everyone is sad and disappointed but it is the right time for him and for us and we move on.

“I think the process we follow has got us this far and that gives us confidence in it.

“We are very clear about the way we work and we are very clear with all of our coaching staff, including Roberto.

“He has been very respectful of the process we follow.

“We have to understand for a club of our size, with revenues of our size, we have to compete in a different way.

“We have found a way of competing, particularly on player recruitment, that gives us, we think, a little bit of an edge.

“It’s not perfect, we are not perfect, so the system itself is still being refined season after season.

“But it has worked very well for us and it has given us not just the last two seasons of relative success but it also helped get us to the Premier League and it has helped us stay there for what will be our eighth season, which is double the time we have ever been in the top flight in our history.”

Albion are known for their succession planning for key positions within the club.

Barber said: “Part of our process is to make sure we always know who the next coach might be.

“You can’t guarantee because you don’t know what people’s circumstances at the time the incumbent coach leaves.

“But we work very hard on our coach homework, if you like.

“We have got ideas and we now need to execute those ideas.

“We need to do that in the right way – professionally, diligently – and the fans can be assured it is work that has been ongoing for some time.”