Despite the very real prospect that Magic Round could quite quickly become tragic, the Newcastle Knights have claimed that they wish to keep head coach Adam O'Brien on their books for another decade.
With a date against the lowly Dogs to commence the River City's weekend-long festival of footy, should the Hunter club slump to their eighth consecutive loss, last place on the competition table will be theirs and theirs alone.
Although Newcastle started their current campaign with a pair of seismic bangs created from a shock victory against Sydney at the SCG and a comprehensive rout of Wests in week two, across the course of the past pair of calendar months, O'Brien's legion has managed a measly average of just 8.8 points per outing whilst conceding 32 at the other end.
Granted, the Knights were left near armourless across a fixture run that included clashes against six sides currently residing inside the top eight - Penrith, Cronulla, Manly, Parramatta, Melbourne and North Queensland - but if the cellar-dwelling Bulldogs can't be bested, one would contend that the temperature of O'Brien's seat will only increase in temperature.
However, in the lead-up to kick-off between the sides with a collective 4-14 record this season, Newcastle's Chief Executive Officer Phil Gardner claimed the 44-year-old steward was still the man for the job and would be for some time.
“We hope that Adam is with us for the next 10 years. I think we have the right group of people. Our club is a team and the good clubs have great teamwork," Gardner told The Sydney Morning Herald.
The key administrator even went so far as to claim that the personnel under both he and O'Brien were peerless amongst other coaching units found across the competition.
“We’ve got Adam O’Brien, Danny Buderus, Andrew Johns, Hayden Knowles, and Clint Zammit is heading up our recruitment," Gardner continued.
“I look across the game and there’s no other group I’d swap it for - and that includes Melbourne.”
Though Gardner's blind loyalty and optimism may endear him to certain sects of the Knight's voracious fanbase, any that tuned in to see their side dismantled by the Storm to the tune of 50-2 in Round 8 are certain to be begging to differ.
While a defeat to Trent Barrett's Bulldogs in Brisbane this weekend will see these same sore eyes face further punishment, it is worth remembering that while it may appear as though the dawn is some time away, the two victories obtained so far this season have already doubled the output of the 2016 Knights who limped to a one win, one draw and 22 loss finish.
Further cheer can be found in the fact that winnable clashes against the Warriors, Raiders and Titans loom large on the horizon.
Kick-off between the Knights and Bulldogs is scheduled for 6:00pm (AEST) at Suncorp Stadium this Friday.