Sir Bobby Robson insists Steve McClaren should keep his job even if England fail to qualify for Euro 2008.
Today could witness the defining moment of McClaren's career, one he is powerless to shape as a match between Israel and Russia decides England's destiny.
Should Russia win, McClaren's men will be effectively eliminated from reaching next summer's finals putting the manager's job in serious jeopardy.
There are eerie parallel's with Robson's early tenure as England manager, when they failed to reach the 1984 European Championships.
However, the Football Association kept the faith and were ultimately rewarded as England achieved their best ever World Cup result on foreign soil in 1990.
Robson has been in touch with McClaren this week and said in the Daily Mail: 'I feel for him. The England job is a four-year job.
'He should be given that time. That is what should happen. You go from one World Cup to another World Cup, with the European Championship in between.
'Let nature run its course and let's see what happens, but let's hope on Wednesday night England are playing Croatia to stay in the competition.
'I am praying fervently that Steve McClaren has that opportunity.'