Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is currently fighting to save his job at Old Trafford.
The Norwegian has seen his team lose six of their last 12 matches across all competitions, massively damaging their hopes of a trophy in the process.
But Ed Woodward’s comments in September suggest the Red Devils are reluctant to wield the axe at the current moment in time.
United backed Solskjaer back in the summer, signing the likes of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo for the 48-year-old.
However, in the time since, their campaign has fallen apart.
United look lost at present, with the club already out of the Carabao Cup and nine points behind Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table.
Had it not been for Ronaldo, they’d likely already be out of the Champions League, too.
With United going from bad to worse, many fans have been calling on Solskjaer to lose his job.
But the club are determined not to rush into anything, despite admiring the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Mauricio Pochettino, Erik Ten Hag and Ralf Rangnick.
And comments from Woodward may shed some light on their current stance.
Speaking in September, at a time where results were first beginning to worsen under Solskjaer, the United supremo made it clear they had a ‘firm commitment’ to the 48-year-old, meaning his sacking would be a difficult one for the club to do.
“We significantly strengthened the squad over the summer, with the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton,” he said at the time.
“These signings have demonstrated our continued ability to attract some of the world’s best footballers to Old Trafford, and our firm commitment to helping Ole deliver success on the pitch.
“Furthermore, we recently sold Dan James to Leeds for a fee of £25 million, plus add-ons.
“We were delighted to welcome back Cristiano to the club, along with Raphael, Jadon and Tom, to further reinforce the progress that our first team has been making under Ole.
“We have been clear in our strategy to build a squad with a blend of top-class recruits and homegrown talent, comprising a balance of youth and experience, with the aim of winning trophies and playing attacking football the Manchester United way.”
This is the issue for United.
They’ve planned so much for the future with Solskjaer that sacking him now would be an acknowledgement they’ve got it wrong.
What’s more, there’s still time for the club to turn things around.
Nine points behind Chelsea isn’t good enough but, such is the turbulent nature of the Premier League, it’s a gap that could be closed should they pick up some good results.
United have the FA Cup to look forward to in January, a trophy they’ve not won since 2016.
And the Champions League is still possible, too, especially with Ronaldo in such fine fettle.
Speaking after the defeat to Manchester City on Saturday, meanwhile, Solskjaer insisted he was still the right man for the job.
“I have good communication with the club,” he said.
“I want the best for United and as long as I’m here I want to do everything I can to improve this.”
And he added: “At the moment we are (far off top teams) we need to get back to where we were at the end of last season.
“I’m sure when we come back the players will be fresh and the demands will be high but we need to get back to what we were for a while and we have the players to do that.
“We’ve been through this a few times and since the last home game it’s been a very difficult period. Systems or style we need to be on the front foot more.
“I can’t look at myself and say this is how I want United to be.”