If the Newcastle Knights want Nathan Brown to remain as coach, they have a funny way of showing it.
Brown might have received a vote of confidence from Knights CEO Phil Gardner last week, but the reality is that every loss pushes club management towards a decision they apparently would prefer not to make.
Brown has already been granted more latitude than any coach in rugby league memory.
His record at the helm of the Knights - 16 wins from 78 games, at a strike rate of 20.5 per cent - is unprecedented.
Most would agree that during his first two seasons in charge of Newcastle, there were mitigating circumstances.
The roster at his disposal meant he was unable to compete on a level playing field. This year, however, it was widely accepted the Knights had assembled a squad of such quality that anything less than a berth in the play-offs would be considered a failure.
Six rounds in, and the euphoria of the 14-6 win against Cronulla in the season-opener is a fast-fading memory.
Newcastle have lost five consecutive games, and judging by their 38-14 trouncing by Gold Coast, the theory that they would improve as the year progressed appears tenuous, at best.
Against a Titans team minus five key forwards - Jarrod Wallace, Nathan Peats, Ryan James, Kevin Proctor and Keegan Hipgrave - the Knights trailed 28-0 before a brief second-half revival.
One moment stood out in a lacklustre display.
With the Titans leading 2-0 midway through the first half, Knights hooker Danny Levi threw a flat ball to first receiver Connor Watson.
It was a tough pass, right on the advantage line, maybe a tad too high and fast. Watson knocked it on.
Immediately he spun to his left to remonstrate with Levi. In that same split-second, while Watson had taken his eye off the ball, Titans hooker Mitch Rein was firing it out to centre Brian Kelly, who in turn linked with winger Phillip Sami.
By the time Watson realised the peril Newcastle were facing, the Titans had already created an overlap.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Mitch Barnett and Tim Glasby chased valiantly. Centre Jesse Ramien was so desperate he flew from the far side of the field, arriving just as Sami scored in the corner.
Watson, one of Newcastle's fastest players, ambled back sheepishly to join his teammates behind their goal line, waiting for Michael Gordon to make it 8-0.
It was a defining moment, a schoolboy error, tilting a game that had been an arm wrestle in the Titans' favour.
To his credit, Watson didn't stop trying to make amends, although he later missed a tackle to concede a try and had one disallowed for a double movement.
Afterwards Brown indicated he would stick with the halves pairing of Watson and Mitchell Pearce.
The coach can only hope such faith is repaid by the men who hold his future in their hands.