UK Athletics chief David Moorcroft may have trouble finding the "perfect" performance director he is searching for, according to Keith Connor.
Connor was tipped to get the job when his main rival, Charles van Commenee, dropped out of the reckoning last week.
But UK Athletics decided he was not suitable and Moorcroft is willing to wait until 2008 to get the right man.
"You won't find anyone perfect unless they've done the job successfully before," Connor told BBC Sport.
"There are very few nations or people in the world who can do the job because you have to have an idea of the psyche of the British system.
"You have to be a good communicator and speak English."
Moorcroft says he has three people in mind for the performance director job and will sound them out in the next few weeks.
He has suggested he could appoint someone from the business world, although Connor thinks this could be a bad idea.
"That could be fraught with problems - it's a totally different world," said the former triple jumper, who won bronze at the 1984 Olympics.
"It's not just about picking coaches, it's about picking athletes at a young age and developing them.
"You're not going to be able to do that from a textbook or by coming along and asking questions."
Moorcroft also suggested that if he cannot find the ideal person to become performance director, he could appoint several people to perform the role.
"They've probably got personnel within their system they think they can do that with," said Connor, who is currently head of Australia athletics. "That's a sensible way to go."