Former Southampton boss Lawrie McMenemy believes current incumbent 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.
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."