Sydney FC coach Frank Farina is under no illusion that the job of leading one of the A-League's biggest clubs comes with pressure, extreme pressure.
Farina took the Sky Blues reins seven weeks ago when he was asked to replace Ian Crook, who resigned from the position claiming the job was beginning to affect his health.
The former Australia coach has been around a long time and he knows he faces an enormous task to give the malfunctioning team the respectability it gained by winning two A-League championships.
He knows he does not have the best playing squad in the league, he knows Sydney's sporting public is as unforgiving as can be and he knows he will most likely be out the door at the end of the season if the team does not make the top six.
What he does not know, however, is the direction the club wants to take in the foreseeable future.
”They have already asked me for my opinion on the club's players,” Farina said.
”But this is always fraught with danger. What they have to do is choose which direction they want to go.
”It's not rocket science. We are already well into the transfer window but I can't sign players.
”At the end of the day the only ones who can do that is the club.
”So my focus essentially is on the last 11 games coming up.”
Farina said he had no particular job description to follow or team targets to meet when given the opportunity to resurrect his coaching career after his exit from Brisbane Roar in 2010.
”My role was very simple: to come in and clean the place up in terms of where the team was, close to the bottom of the league,” he said.
”That's all I'm trying to do ... turn the team around and try to get them into the six.
”The deal was only till the end of the season so what happens after that I do not know.”
The last thing Farina would want is to be seen as though he was trying to promote himself via the media.
He has always been his own man and has always taken full responsibility for his actions.
So he was reluctant to acknowledge the uncertainty surrounding his future could dissuade some players from signing for the club.
”Look, I've already spoken to some players who are interested in playing for Sydney and they all asked me if I'm going to be there next season,” he explained.
”I had to tell them 'no' basically as a courtesy to the people I work for.
”Sydney has its reasons for doing things and I respect that but what I'm saying is that it might be an idea if a decision be made sooner rather than later.
”Either way suits me and I tell you I won't be doing things any differently whether I am retained or otherwise. I'm not going to change the way I work.
”But I reckon things would be a lot better for everyone if there was a bit less uncertainty around the place.”
While the board deliberates on the coach position, the struggling team will keep trying to climb up the ladder with its never-say-die spirit that has got it out of jail on several occasions.
Sydney's last three league matches epitomised the spirit Farina is trying to instil in the side that may be short on finesse but has grit and determination in abundance.
After beating Central Coast Mariners 1-0 with a late goal from Brett Emerton, Sydney twice came back from a goal down to earn a 2-2 draw at Perth Glory before it scored twice in the last 10 minutes to beat Melbourne Heart 2-1 at the weekend.
”When I came to Sydney I found that the team could not play for 90 minutes,” he said.
”At the moment I'm glad to say that we are in a position to go for 90 minutes and if that happens anything is possible.
”We were not in the game against Heart on Sunday and when they sat back we were in such a condition to be able to take advantage of that.
”We must keep fighting till the very end and never give up.”
Sydney will have to do this without influential defender Pascal Booschaart, who has a problem with his heel.
”It looks like Pascal might need an operation so the news is not good,” Farina said.
”I'm not sure but it looks like he might be out for a few more weeks.”
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