Gus Poyet will lay "everything on the table" in talks with the club this summer as he wrestles for more control to shape Sunderland's future.
Should he have kept Sunderland up, he will find himself in a strong position to push for changes, especially given his contractual situation. The Ururguayan will only have a year left on his deal after this season and is believed to have a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for nothing if survival is ensured.
That doesn't seem to be on his agenda, however. He has insisted he will not quit in recent weeks and also spoke "positively" regarding the club's future. He told reporters:
When we finish, it's going to be great to have everything on the table and talk and analyse it. There's plenty of things to talk about. With the owner [Ellis Short], Lee [Congerton], Mags [Margaret Byrne], the people in charge.
I came here because I was convinced there was something right. I think it is time to finish the job and then we can analyse. It's going to be a great time for me to sit down and think about everything that happened, and the future.
There seems to be almost a sense of paranoia amongst the support over Poyet and his future. Many refuse to believe he will commit himself to the club, despite his assurances to the contrary. I suppose until the ink if dry on a new contract, we won't know for sure.
Personally, I don't think he has toughed out what he himself describes as "very difficult" times and finally got a team playing the kind of football he wants to just to walk away and start over elsewhere.
I am sure there is a lot at the club he wants to change and he has suggested he believes there is something fundamentally wrong somewhere, but he has also seen the potential of the club far more clearly than most managers. He has seen the red and white hoard at Wembley. He has seen the Stadium of Light full and at its best. He has seen the sheer volume and quality of the away support.
I'm not sure I'd go as far as describing it as a power-struggle, but I think it's obvious Poyet is after something. What he will be after, though, will probably be beneficial to the club in the long run if the kind of football we've been treated to lately is any kind of indication.
It looks like there is another interesting summer ahead.