West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray always knew he'd got one of the hardest jobs in football when he checked in at The Hawthorns.
After inheriting a team in third place in the Championship, thanks to a staggering renaissance by Bryan Robson's team in the immediate wake of their sacked boss's departure, Mowbray was rapidly made aware that only a runaway title triumph would earn him any credit.
Even then, some of that credit would probably still go to his predecessor, but that was something Albion fans were happily bracing themselves for when Mowbray started his Albion reign with a delirious 3-0 Black Country derby win over Wolverhampton Wanderers just 19 days ago - and it appeared none of the momentum built up by the Baggies under caretaker boss Nigel Pearson had been lost.
Now, three games, two defeats and just one draw later, Albion are back on the same points level as Wolves, four adrift of the gap that has opened between the top four and the rest.
And eyebrows are starting to be raised as to what has gone wrong. But Mowbray did not have the success he enjoyed in his first managerial appointment at Hibernian without knowing a false crisis when he sees one.
And this softly spoken, but steel-spined Yorkshireman yesterday made it quite clear that the Albion dressing room is in firm hands - and that it is simply a matter of time before he instills his outlook on both football and life into his new team.
"My thoughts and beliefs you can't get across in one week," he said. "The players will adjust as we go along. And I'm very confident we will do that over the longer period.
"Football is a human business. You've got to know how to deal with people. They aren't robots.
"When I give someone a rollicking, it might not be the right thing to do because I don't really know what makes them tick.
"Eventually, I will know what they can all do, what I can and can't say, when to give them a rollicking, about what makes them tick and it will be my football team.
"At Hibernian I spent every day for two years living with those players and I knew when they were disappointed. You didn't have to say anything. I could see it in their body language.
"It's like when you have a row with your missus. You know when it's right to go back and talk or when just to leave her alone because she'll bite your head off.
"It's the same with footballers. You've got to know when you can be aggressive and when you've got to leave them alone to sulk for a bit.
"That's where I feel I am at the moment with the team. They are good players, but it's a case of getting to know who has the voices in the dressing room, if I want to get a message across, so that it gets into the dressing room...'the gaffer isn't happy about this or that', rather than going in with a big sledgehammer.
"I haven't moulded it yet but it will happen. At the moment I don't know the nuts and bolts of the team but I'm finding out by the day and you'll look in a year's time and think 'what a well oiled machine that is."
Even allowing for the fact that some Albion fans were even calling for Robson's sacking within a month of his appointment after a bad start this time two years ago, Mow-bray rightly scoffs at the suggestion that tomorrow's home game with Norwich City has been tagged with the badly overused 'must win' status.
"I regard every game the same," he said. "There's never been a game I've gone into thinking 'it doesn't matter what happens.'
"It's a game we'd like to win. It's a game we've got to play well in. But I never tell my players it's a game we must win, because footballers don't perform best when told that. It just heaps on too much pressure. No one is getting promoted in November so why is it a 'must-win'?"