Newcastle United must back Rafael Benitez before the Spaniard moves on to greener pastures, leaving them in a bid to avoid relegation.
The Magpies currently sit only four points clear of the drop zone with a third of the season played, with 12 points on the board.
Despite considering the Northerners to be wrapped up in a relegation battle for much of last season, Benitez guided his side to a tenth placed finish and an impressive 44 points.
Now, it is time Mike Ashley backs the miracle working tactician…or clear the path of ownership for someone who will.
Having spent little more than £30million in the summer, Newcastle actually made a profit in the transfer window when all departures were accounted for.
It is a trend that sees Benitez battling to overachieve with a squad of players shy of the quality he is used to working with, and though he may well keep Newcastle up once again this season, the former Real Madrid manager is unlikely to stick around unless his project is backed.
Narrow 2-1 losses away at Manchester City and at home to Arsenal – as well as an excruciating 3-2 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, in which the Magpies led 2-0 at the break – are signs of what Benitez could achieve with a higher calibre of player.
Victories over the early-season flyers Watford and Bournemouth may look like crucial wins come the end of the season, but the accomplished manager will be hoping for more if he is to sign a new deal with the Toon.