Former Southampton boss Lawrie McMenemy believes Alan Pardew should be given at least 18 months to prove himself in the Saints hotseat.
Pardew's future came under major scrutiny following chairman Nicola Cortese stating last week that the club's league form must quickly improve.
But the Saints boss responded after Saturday's FA Cup defeat by rivals Portsmouth by stating that he should not be judged by anyone until he has spent 18 months in the job - and that is an assertion fully backed by the man who led Saints to the 1976 FA Cup.
McMenemy told the Southern Daily Echo: "Every manager needs time. I think Mr Cortese will be aware of how difficult promotion is this season.
"He seems to be a sensible and experienced enough businessman to realise promotion this season is a huge ask, so let's build and have a real go next year."