Milan Mandaric had sounded out Dave Jones before dispensing with Gary Megson and made a swift appointment after Megson was axed.
But the chairman has made it clear that no-one was lined up for the Owls job ahead of Jones’ departure.
His task has been to launch an immediate search and compile a list of candidates.
Mandaric told The Star: “Stuart Gray is a very experience coach and can take care of the team before an appointment is made.
“I have put in place an aggressive search, am putting a list together and looking to hold interviews.”
He wants an appointment as soon as possible but cannot at this stage give a time scale - so it is unclear whether the new man will be in by the time Forest visit Hillsborough on Saturday.
Mandaric regrets having had to axe Jones: “I like the guy and I did get on so well with him.
“Support was given, with a lot of players brought in, but things didn’t go so well. I did what I had to do. It’s not unusual, when you look at other clubs.
“My duty as chairman is to do what is best for the club. I have done that. A correction was needed and we must make progress - that is most important, as is bringing in the right person.
“I hope supporters understand and support what has happened.
“I would like to thank Dave for bringing us promotion to the Championship. He is a good man, a good worker, and I respect him, but with results as they have been, I made the decision that I felt was right.”
Mandaric has declined to comment on who may be in the frame for the job but seems likely to favour an experienced manager.