Nigel Worthington last night urged Northern Ireland football followers not to pass judgement on him at the end of the country's next six games.
The former international captain is the first manager since Dave Clements over 30 years ago to step into the Northern Ireland manager's job in the middle of a campaign.
Lawrie Sanchez did the ground work before leaving for Fulham in May and now Worthington has been handed the responsibility of taking Northern Ireland through the second half of the Euro 2008 qualifying series and into next summer's finals in Austria and Switzerland.
Worthington knows that he may be labelled a failure if he doesn't fulfil that dream, but even if he achieves what was unthinkable after the opening defeat to Iceland in September last year, he doesn't want that to be the yardstick of his time as Northern Ireland boss.
" I don't think it would be fair for me to be judged over six games," said Worthington.
"Lawrie Sanchez was in the job for just over three years and I have been thrust into the situation, although I am very much looking forward to it.
"I will work as hard as anybody else to get qualification. I think it would be great for us, it would be great for the country, but I am under no illusions - there are four very hard games away from home that always makes it a little bit harder in the situation.
"We are up for the fight, we will meet it head on, but please don't judge me on six games because I think that would be very, very unfair. And I think it you look at the overall scenario, I think people could see that."
Similarly Worthington insists that he didn't take the job for the potential glory.
"To be honest it wasn't about the position in the group, it was about the group of players," he said.
"That is something that grabbed me straight away when the opportunity was there to take the job.
"The excitement of the group of young players that are in the senior squad at this moment in time, along with the older ones, and the system in place below that is working.
"There are players coming through at under-21 level and the younger age groups which is great for ourselves."
And with the team collecting 13 points from the opening six matches, Worthington's target for gaining qualification for the finals over the remaining half a dozen games is simple.
"I have a target in mind," he said.
"I have told the players that I want one more point than the team that finishes in second place in the group, whatever that might be!
"The mentality will be to win games and that is what we'll be doing over the next six games, difficult as that might be."