THE next seven days will make or break Roy Keane.
Back-to-back battles against Chelsea in the FA Cup and Arsenal in the League Cup semi-final could well dictate whether he stands or falls.
It is ironic that Ipswich fans currently calling for his head haven't had a big fixture to look forward to for years and now they have two in a row.
But with local news-papers now clearing their front page to call for the Corkman's removal, Keane himself remains sanguine about the growing campaign in Ipswich to force change on Marcus Evans.
"It is not important whether or not I keep my job," claimed Keane.
"My job is not important, what we have to do is get the best out of this football club.
"It's not about me, the club is bigger.
"I'm doing my best, but if the best is not good enough, then I will pay the consequences."
Keane and Ipswich's best over the holiday period amounted to a win, a defeat and a draw and the four points gained has only served to keep the club above rather than in the middle of a relegation dogfight.
Two glamour Cup ties will focus attention on Keane but the key fixture for him is more likely to be an away tussle with Millwall in the Championship in 10 days time.
However, Keane continues to enjoy the support of the playing staff with former Ireland winger Mark Kennedy jumping to his defence.
"I'll tell you when the manager's time up," said Kennedy, "It's when players' performances dip, when they look like they don't care and don't get upset when they lose. Anyone watching can see that the players are fully committed."
Keane held out little hope that he will be able to find help in the January transfer window.
"It's going to be difficult because of the fact -- and I know people don't want to hear it -- we are finding it hard to attract a certain player," he said.
"Experienced players don't necessarily want to commute to Ipswich."