DAVE Jones will almost certainly be in charge when Sheffield Wednesday face his former club Cardiff on Sunday amid a crisis compounded by injuries.
There had been speculation that the Owls boss could be axed in the immediate aftermath of the 4-1 defeat by Watford, and bookmakers are already quoting odds over who could be his successor.
But it is understood that he is being given more time by chairman Milan Mandaric - though the path beyond the clash with the Championship leaders looks uncertain.
Wednesday also face the likelihood of being without defence regulars Anthony Gardner and Lewis Buxton.
Another black day on Sunday could bring pressure on Jones, though opinions may be tempered by the apparent invincibility of table-topping Cardiff: they will be seeking a record-breaking 10th successive home win.
Bookies BetVictor have Paul Ince as 6/4 favourite to become the next Owls manager, irrespective of the time frame.
The former England and Manchester United midfield player confirmed that he wanted the job after Gary Megson was axed in March. Karl Robinson is 10-1 second favourite after leading MK Dons to the League One play-offs and mounting another promotion challenge this season.
Others: Alex McLeish 12/1, Alan Curbishley, Gordon Strachan, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Owen Coyle, Richie Barker, Steve Cotterill, Tim Sherwood all 25-1; and Alan Shearer, Billy Davies, Gareth Southgate, Graham Rix, Paolo Di Canio and Roy Keane all 33/1.
Jones intends to keep fighting. But in keeping with his philosophy that no manager is ever safe, he says: “If people think somebody else is going to do a better job, then go and get him. If he doesn’t get a few wins, what are you going to do? Get somebody else, then somebody else?
“We’re in a results business.
“Sometimes if you don’t get the results, people think a change is best. It normally doesn’t work.
“Have I all of a sudden not been able to do it, or is it an accumulation of a lot of things? My record is there to be looked at. It’s about getting it right. But it’s a long term, not a short term.”
As the Owls bid to cause an upset and avoid a sixth defeat in a row, Gardner and Buxton both have hamstring injuries that forced them off on Tuesday. Midfielder Rhys McCabe could be a doubt after being withdrawn owing to an ankle problem.