Steve Bruce will be given time to turn around Sunderland's ailing season, according to club chairman Niall Quinn.
Quinn has rejected suggestions that the 14-game winless run which has seen the Black Cats slide down the Premier League table could ultimately cost Bruce his job.
The former Wigan Athletic manager was handed a healthy transfer kitty when he arrived at the Stadium of Light last summer, but the Wearsiders are now just three points clear of the relegation zone.
"I'm the first person to realise the fans haven't had a lot to cheer about," explained Quinn.
"Steve Bruce has only been here nine months and it takes a while for a team to settle in.
"But we're really happy that we have the spine of a side that can consistently get into that top 10."