Stuart Pearce may not get the opportunity to guide Nottingham Forest over the finishing line in 2014/15.
A club legend finds himself under ever-increasing pressure at a Championship outfit struggling to shake themselves out of an alarming slump.
League form has dipped alarmingly, with two wins collected in 16.
Those woes were compounded on Saturday as Forest crashed out of the FA Cup at the third round stage to League One Rochdale.
Pearce acknowledges that his side find themselves in a tricky situation and is also aware of the need to start turning the corner heading into the second-half of the campaign.
He told the club’s official website: “You can’t lose track of where we are at the moment. There’s half a season left and, as I’ve said to the players, we have to make sure we get something out of this season.”
A top-six finish has to remain the target for Forest.
They have invested heavily in pursuit of a Premier League return – which has seen them stung with a transfer embargo – and anything less than a play-off spot will be considered a failure.
Pearce knows that, but whether he can inspire those around him and start edging back towards that target remains to be seen.