Dragons coach Paul McGregor says he could understand if the Red V hierarchy pull the trigger on his flagging coaching career after Monday's crushing loss to Canterbury.
McGregor cut a lonely figure after St George Illawarra's 22-2 defeat to the Bulldogs, conceding his job is on the line as his side sits alone at the bottom of the NRL ladder.
The joint-venture's board is due to meet on June 16 – a few days after Sunday's stoush with arch-rivals Cronulla. If the directors end McGregor's tenure with 18 months remaining on his contract, he would be entitled to a hefty payout.
McGregor fronted up to the toughest questions in his post-match media conference, adamant he is still capable of turning the Dragons around.
But he is no longer resisting the suggestion Red V figures think otherwise.
McGregor: The desire is still there
"If they make the decision I'll understand it. I'll be disappointed obviously but I understand the situation and there's conversations around it every day which doesn't help the team," McGregor said.
"If that decision is made, I'll wear it.
"I've certainly got the backing of the players and the staff. No one from the club has come forward and said anything to me.
Pay: I feel for McGregor
"I'm not scared [of being axed] if that's the word you're looking for.
"I'm an optimist, but I'm a realist and I know that our team aren’t playing well enough at the moment and I'm the coach of that.
"I've got confidence in my team. At the moment they've lost a bit in themselves I think so I accept the blame."
New Dragons CEO Ryan Webb, chairman Andrew Gordon and part-owner Bruce Gordon have been conspicuous in their silence since pressure ramped up on McGregor in recent weeks.
At the start of 2019 McGregor was handed a two-year extension by the Dragons board after round five, coming off a finals run the previous year.
Sacking McGregor with 18 months to run on his estimated $700,000 a year deal, and then replacing him, would cost the Dragons over $1 million, regardless of reported exit clauses in his contract.
McGregor not scared of what is ahead
McGregor said he was "still the same coach" that had taken the club to the finals, the second post-season appearance of his now seven seasons in charge.
And despite just two wins - both over the Titans - from their last 16 games, he says his message is still getting through to his players.
"That's the frustrating thing for me, I do," he said.
"I've got good eye contact with the guys, I see how hard they work and the enjoyment they have around one another but we're not playing well.
"I believe in my players and I've got confidence in my staff. I know how hard they work during the week.
"We're just not going out and playing the way we're doing things."