David O'Leary might have taken a journey into a parallel universe - where unity and disunity at Villa Park exist side by side - but he is so sure that he will be the Aston Villa manager next season that he refuses to answer questions on the subject.
Even he must agree, however, that the questions are justifiable for this is, officially, the worst Villa team in Premiership history and there are few suggestions that the situation will improve in time for the start of the 2006-07 campaign.
His recent charm offensive (described by some as "offensive charm") has not concealed his poor public-relations skills and, today, as he begins his preparations for his fourth season in charge, he cuts a lonely and diminished figure.
There has been no significant expression of support from Doug Ellis, the Villa chairman, and O'Leary is understood to be unhappy that there will be no extra funds with which to rebuild the squad.
Worst of all, the most important people in this equation - the Villa supporters - are divided on the issue of whether O'Leary is the right man for the job.
O'Leary says that "the majority" of Villa fans are on his side but there were enough who chanted "we want O'Leary out" after the match against Sunderland two days ago to suggest that the manager has blurred the distinction between fact and fiction.
No doubt buoyed by Birmingham City's relegation, the Villa fans have been brilliant in recent matches, and their treatment of the players after the match against Sunderland told its own story.
As Martin O'Neill, the former Celtic manager, said, "this game is about those who pay and those who play".
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Gareth Barry would certainly agree with that. The Villa midfield player, one of the few to impress consistently this season, glowed with pride when he joined his team-mates on a lap of honour last Sunday.
"The fans gave us a great reception," Barry said. "Some of the press were saying beforehand that it might be a bit rocky but the supporters were brilliant and really got behind the players. They stayed behind afterwards and that lap of honour is as much about us thanking them for their support throughout the season.
"We know they haven't had as much to cheer about this season as we would have liked but their support makes us more determined than ever to get things right next season.
"We're not pretending this season has been a massive success but we've got a young squad with loads of potential and hopefully we can put this season behind us when we get back in July.
"I was delighted to end the season with two goals in two games. It should have been three but my penalty was saved and I was gutted at that. I've ended the season with six, which is two fewer than last season, but still not bad. I'll be looking to do better than that next season and as a team we'll all be looking to do a lot better.
"That's a great thing about football, you can always put things right after a tough season. We start again in August and it's up to us to do a lot better. I'm sure there'll be a few changes and then the hard work starts again."
There will be a few changes. Whether one of those changes will involve the departure of David O'Leary remains to be seen.