Is 18 games enough time in which to pass judgement on the managerial capabilities of any given coach?
That is the question facing Charlton Atheltic as they mull over whether or not to open contract extension talks with Bob Peeters.
The affable Belgian only arrived at The Valley at the end of last season, with Jose Riga leaving his post having successfully steered the Addicks away from relegation danger in the Championship.
Peeters has picked the baton up and run with it, with it possible that he could carry a club starved of top-flight football for eight years back to the Premier League Promised Land in 2015.
Were he to do that, then his claims to fresh terms would be impossible to ignore.
Charlton must therefore decide whether to act now, at the risk of seeing their season implode, or drag their heels and wait to see how things play out.
The problem then is, with rumours of interest from Standard Liege having already circulated, that Peeters could be lured away in search of greater job security elsewhere.
A man who penned a 12-month deal upon his arrival in English football has, however, opened the door to discussions.
He told the South London Press: “If there is a possibility, and they ask me to extend, then I will extend. We need to continue making progress and pushing even harder than this season.
“We’ve made big progress from last season and need to continue that. I’m very ambitious. If everyone at Charlton, especially the chairman, is as ambitious as we are then there is no reason we shouldn’t continue.
“Before I’ve signed longer deals. For me it’s important that I’m doing a good job - if the chairman thinks you are a good manager he will extend. We said we would give it a shot for one season and that if you’re happy and I’m happy then we continue. At this moment I’m very happy.”
Peeters added: “I did not have one single thought when the management job of Standard became available. Because I attracted players like Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Igor Vetokele to be here, it wouldn’t be fair to my players to leave after three or four months.
“I’m having the time of my life here. They appreciate our work - not only here at Charlton but also when we go to other games. For me, that’s important.”
The news that Peeters is having the time of his life at Charlton will be music to the ears of those still waiting for a suitable successor to Alan Curbishley to be found.
With the club sat ninth in the second-tier standings, the foundations have been put down on which to build a promotion push.
Keeping key men – such as Vetokele – out of the clutches of a rival in January will be crucial, but Peeters is confident no sales will be sanctioned.
Should his squad be kept intact, and if momentum can be built heading into the second half of the season, then Charlton’s impressive defensive record and eye-catching brand of football should have them or thereabouts when the top six places are decided in May.