West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admits that he did he fear being given the sack after his side's miserable run of form throughout December and January.
The Hammers went seven Premier League games without a win as they slipped into the bottom three, casting doubts over Allardyce's future at the club as they also crashed out of the FA Cup and Capital One Cup.
However, prior to the late defeat at Everton, West Ham had won five and drawn one of their previous seven outings, a run of form which has seen them climb to 10th in the table and distance themselves seven points ahead of the bottom three.
Allardyce's perfect record throughout February has helped ease any relegation fears and he says he is grateful for being allowed the time to turn things around.
"Thankfully the owners stuck by me, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't wonder how much longer they could withstand the pressure," he told the Sunday People.
"I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd sacked me but it would have been unlike them.
"And I don't think I would have deserved it given my experience in these situations and the problems we were having.
"When they were at Birmingham they were not owners who would quickly sack managers. But with the move to the Olympic Stadium in the background, it means the stakes are high.
"The Premier League is worth about £70million a season. When you go down to the Championship it's about £10million plus parachute money so the gulf between the divisions is like the Grand Canyon.
"The devastation caused by relegation is huge and affects a club for years, so I don't mind admitting January was probably the most difficult time in my Premier League management.
"It was the toughest I've ever known. We had poor results, defensive problems, Andy Carroll injured and then Kevin Nolan getting sent off on New Year's Day for the second time in a month.
"We weren't far from getting the results but the turning point was going to Cardiff."
Allardyce also admitted that he could feel the pressure mounting as results worsened, but says he was relieved to have been backed in the January transfer window.
"David Gold replies to almost every message he gets on Twitter and I'm certain there were a lot calling for me to be sacked," he said.
"Then the media are on the case and suddenly TV cameras start appearing at your training ground trying to get footage of an adverse reaction or a fight between the players.
"All that puts pressure on the owners as well as me and we all know that many owners have succumbed to that and pressed the panic button.
"But in the January window they backed me by getting four players in - Marco Boriello from Roma, Antonio Nocerino from AC Milan, Pablo Armero from Napoli and Roger Johnson from Wolves. The irony of that is now those players can't get a game."