Paolo Di Canio says he wants to earn the right to be a hero at Sunderland and not just take the plaudits after one win.
The Italian led the Black Cats to a stirring 3-0 victory over Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United last weekend, marking their first victory at St James' Park since 2000.
Already is Di Canio revered among the Sunderland fans but he says he fully wants to earn his heroism by keeping the club in the Premier League and then pushing on for a successful campaign next season.
"I don't want to be a hero now. I don't want to be a hero when we stay up, I don't want to be a hero next year," he said.
"It's easy for the fans to call the players, the manager, heroes if they do the right things and an incredible job.
"Maybe one day if we win something, they can call me hero, but it's not the time now, even if we stay up. It's not the time for a single game.
"I understand what it means - I used to do the same as a Lazio fan. We won the derby, [Bruno] Giordano was a striker who scored an incredible goal and he was my hero.
"I know, but it's not enough for me, not even if we stay up. If we stay up, it would be a fantastic step to build a good future.
"One day, in 10 years' time if I became the best manager in this club's history, they can call me hero, otherwise it's not enough, one game, two games, 10 games, 20 games.
"In 10 years' time, they will decide if I can be called hero, even if I don't like anyway this adjective, 'hero'.
"But when I deliver a special, special thing, maybe they can call me hero."