Iain Dowie insists Alan Shearer has made no decision on whether he will stay on as manager of Newcastle next season.
The fans' favourite has been entrusted to oversee first-team affairs at St James' Park for their last eight Premier League games of the season.
Although Shearer guided the Magpies to a crucial 3-1 success over Middlesbrough their home defeat to Fulham last weekend means the club's top-flight status is still hanging by a thread.
Newcastle take on Aston Villa this Sunday knowing they must better Hull City's result at home to champions Manchester United to avoid relegation to the Championship.
Shearer's assistant Dowie insists while Newcastle's management team have been planning for the long term, that does not necessarily mean they will be staying on - regardless of this weekend's outcome.
"I have said all along from the first minute we got here that we have taken decisions that are right for this football club," stated Dowie.
"I think maybe that has been perceived as we're staying for the long term, but I don't think that's the case.
"Alan came to me and said 'It's an eight-week job'. As far as I'm aware those eight weeks end on Monday.
"For now, all our focus is on keeping the club in the Premier League."