Sunderland boss Steve Bruce says he hopes to be given a long-term chance to lift the club's fortunes.
After two seasons struggling to survive in the top flight, spirits have soared with the Black Cats threatening finally to establish themselves in the Premier League and end their recent yo-yo existence.
Bruce, backed by the millions provided by owner Ellis Short which funded summer swoops for the likes of leading scorer Darren Bent, midfielders Lorik Cana and Lee Cattermole and defender Michael Turner, is confident that aim can be achieved, provided he is given the time to do it.
He told the club's official website, safc.com "I say that even though I have only known them for a short period.
"They are good people to work for and I'm determined to make sure we have a team that everyone is proud to be associated with. I believe we are making progress.
"I will be judged as a manager over a period of time. I don't want to be judged on the fact that we can do well against the top four - I hope I will be judged over time and that people will look back and say I did a decent job over my years with Sunderland."