Pep Guardiola insists he must prove he is worth a new Manchester City contract.
The loss of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal this week unmistakeably came as a blow to the City manager, who had stressed he wanted his fellow Spaniard to stay.
Last season's Premier League champions not only trail runaway leaders Liverpool by a street, but they are also four points behind Leicester City in the table.
Ahead of an important clash with Leicester on Saturday, Guardiola has insisted it will not be a formality for him to land a fresh deal at the Etihad Stadium.
Widely regarded in the highest class of modern coaches, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has lost little of his aura at this stage.
But a defensive crisis, which arguably could have been avoided with suitable close-season recruitment, and league defeats to the likes of Wolves and Norwich City this season have raised questions about City's progress.
This month's home loss to Manchester United exposed more shortcomings than Guardiola, who arrived at City in 2016, will have been comfortable to observe.
With 18 months left on his contract, he is now naturally facing questions about what may be next on his agenda.
He made it clear on Friday that he wishes to stay at City but said: "I have one more year. Always I have to deserve to extend my contract.
"A manager has to get results. In this club you have to win. In football... things change a lot. Managers today even in this country change a lot – in just four or five months [look at] how many managers were sacked.
"So that's my expectation. We have still six months [of this season], plus 12 months. There's a lot of time. We have patience. We have incredible relations with the board, with the people who decide, who are going to take the decision [that is] the best for the club.
"When there will be news, I will say the news. I think in football one year and a half is a lot of time for the managers. We have to see altogether how it works, how it is going on. I've said many times how incredibly good [happy] I am here. And of course, I would like to stay as much as possible.
"So that is my desire. I want to be sure it is the best for the club if they want me to stay longer. So, it will be five years in one club, in this competition, this league. It's many, many, many years.
"That's why when you are [somewhere] a long time, it's better to be sure the decision is perfect for both sides. There's no rush. It's not finishing in three months, four months. The club is working perfectly in all departments so it's not a problem."