Sunderland boss David Moyes is confident he still has the support of owner Ellis Short amid a desperately difficult start to his reign on Wearside.
Moyes heads into Saturday's clash with high-flying Arsenal still awaiting his first Premier League victory as manager and with some fans having already delivered a damning verdict on his tenure just nine games into the campaign.
There is little doubt that the 53-year-old Scot, who signed a four-year contract during the summer, inherited a difficult situation, a fact which has been acknowledged by new chief executive Martin Bain, who along with Moyes has been charged with the task of bringing stability to the Stadium of Light.
Asked if he sensed Short is remaining patient over the situation, the manager replied: "I've never thought anything different. The length of the contract he gave me, his words tell you that."
Moyes freely admits that his task is a tough one, and that it is perhaps tougher now than it was the day he accepted Short's offer of employment.
He said: "It can be different, but I think that happens at clubs. Everywhere you go in, you know sometimes things aren't always the way you might have thought it to be.
"But the one thing that hasn't changed is that we go away to every ground and fill it with our own supporters. We have got nearly 45,000 at the game tomorrow, so the people of Sunderland continue to support their team whether it be home or away, and that tells you about the size of the club.
"It tells you about the club's history, it tells you a lot about the club and the people. No matter what situation they are in, they follow their team."
Only the most loyal of supporters will arrive at the Stadium of Light this weekend expecting Sunderland to avoid a defeat which would see them equal Manchester City's record low points haul of just two after 10 Premier League games.
Moyes knows the odds are heavily stacked against his injury-hit team against a Gunners outfit he believes might sneak under the radar this season.
He said: "There's a lot of talk about Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City. I wouldn't say everybody has forgotten about Arsenal, but maybe this year you might find they are able to come in with a lot more focus on some of the other clubs just now.
"We probably go into the game carrying a little bit less pressure because everybody doesn't expect us to get anything from it, so we can go into it and try to see if we can cause a big upset because people would see it that way."