Paul Merson's candour has been refreshing during his tenure at Walsall, so when he reveals the sands of time are running out for him at Bescot Stadium, the alarm bells begin to ring.
Walsall's ebullient manager came in for severe criticism from the Saddlers' travelling support at Swindon Town on Tuesday evening after another abject away performance.
Without a League win in 2006 and only two points above the relegation zone, Merson was summoned to a meeting with chairman Jeff Bonser regarding their recent run of form.
A trip to Brentford tomorrow will end a wretched stint of five successive away fixtures.
If a defeat at the hands of Martin Allen's robust Brentford side was to be followed by a home loss against fellow strugglers Scunthorpe, then it is safe to assume that Merson would be teetering on the brink.
Nevertheless, he is refusing to abdicate responsibility and maintains that supporters were well within their rights to give him a rough ride in the aftermath of the Swindon debacle.
"I have watched a video of the Swindon game and the fans were right. The buck stops with me," said a philosophical Merson.
"They were shouting 'Merson out' on Tuesday night and rightly so.
"I am manager of the team and they should be showing more fight. I am responsible for bringing those players to the football club.
"It had a good meeting with Jeff and it has been made clear to me that I need to get results.
"There is pressure and we both said that the fans will get you the sack.
"I sat here after beating Barnsley in the FA Cup and said that the next five fixtures - all away from home - could get me the sack.
"It's the only time I've been right this season," he added, with typical gallows humour.
However, don't labour under the impression that realism equates to despondency as Merson has seen enough talent within his squad to know that a large injection of confidence would work wonders.
But it is a catch 22 situation. Merson has long been an advocate of the beautiful game, but he has seen his team undone by perpetrators of the uglier side of football.
Route One and brute force have been a constant thorn in Walsall's side this season and Merson admits that he is willing to sacrifice principles in order to halt the malaise.
"I need results," he said ruefully. "Teams have bullied us this season and I'm not thinking about the playoffs at all. I am just thinking about staying out of the bottom four.
"We are a small team and we have got caught between two stools and started playing in the wrong places. But I'm to blame," added Merson, who will hand deadline signings Andrew Barrowman, from Birmingham City, and Dean Keates, who has returned from Lincoln City, their bows at Griffin Park.
"We have got some really nice lads at the club, but it isn't all about being a nice lad.
"If you asked me about Gary O'Neil at Portsmouth I would say he is a good player. If you asked me about Vincent Pericard, I would tell you he is a nice lad.
"No one can play well every week, I accept that. But the problem we have had this season is that virtually every players has a collective off-day. All fans want to see is passion.
"Skill comes third on the list after heart and enthusiasm. When we lost against Colchester I didn't hear any fans booing after that game, because of our effort and work-rate.
"It is going to be another fight at Brentford and we have to be ready for it."