David Moyes refused to read anything into the appearance of Sunderland owner Ellis Short as his side failed to deliver on a game they simply had to win. But with no immediate action or statement from within the bowels of power at the Stadium of Light, the Scot appeared to hand himself a vote of confidence.
A Short silence so Moyes fills the void
His wife may have looked bored - Eve Zimmerman Short summed up the feelings of the entire crowd at the Stadium of Light slumped as she was in a doze when caught on camera yesterday - but Ellis Short likely left the ground last night with a few things on his mind.
The American may not have realised just how dismal the toy that he has grown bored of had become since he last checked on it.
The attendance for this crucial game was a healthy plus-41,000 but the club had embarked on a sustained campaign to shift tickets for a tenner and tug on a few consciences to ensure Sunderland's players took to the field with a sizeable support behind them.
Short may have noticed however, just how flat the Stadium of Light has become. The crackle of frantic voices which rebounds off the metal roof was absent until the closing stages of yesterday's game. The first half was a write-off as Sunderland slumped out of the blocks and handed every initiative to a Burnley side who are always set up not to lose on the road, but are unable to win.
Death-throe ramblings or is Moyes here to stay, come what may?
Asked whether he read anything into his 'big boss' turning up, David Moyes insisted he had spoken with the owner and concluded that he must have received a vote of confidence before the game,
"I spoke to the owner today. Everything is fine.
I suppose if you own a football club you are entitled to come and watch it. He is allowed to do that. I saw him this morning and he is entitled to come along, but it is all good."
All managers reaching the end of the line suffer signs of breakdown. Delusions, insisting all is fine, identifying positive signs of life in their dying dreams and hearing support amidst the silence. "All fine" and "all good" it most certainly isn't.
This would ordinarily be the symptoms being suffered by Moyes - at any other club, in any other season. The hints are there that something is unravelling, but he still appears to be as safe as houses.
On Friday the Sunderland boss secretly revealed to his sympathisers in the local press that he had more injuries than he was letting on.
As it turned out that covered-up-casualty to avoid pre-match panic was centre-half Lamine Kone. There were hints all is not well there too if you choose to read enough into Moyes suggesting after the game that any injury to the Ivorian defender was not detectable by scans he's been put through.
Moyes had spent the past few weeks insisting he was looking forward to Sunderland's turn for a good run which would get them back into safety contention. As it is, his side have failed to score in four games and fallen way behind as others have begun to sort themselves out.
And those glaring misses yesterday - by players who knew they would have to put at least one away to maintain Premier League survival - hint at a frightened squad lacking leadership - but we already knew that.
An announcement or merely an indication of intent is needed
Someone needs to come out during this two week break - sooner rather than later - and confirm whether or not David Moyes is safe in his job. Safe until the end of the season and safe and in post in the Championship? Then perhaps we can all shuffle off and do something more relaxing with our spring fortnight away from the the relegation battle that we're firmly losing.
But no one will ask. Sadly, no one in the local media with access to club and manager will ask any pertinent question. Them boys and girls are sewn up by the club, terrified into silence and firmly on #TeamMoyes; and the national press are just bored of Sunderland and their annual strife so we can no doubt expect a silence from owner and Chief Executive.
That'll be the CEO of course who in November was eager to appear in public when it suited him to tell supporters the club is ruined and who has issued occasional missives justifying redundancies and other business decisions he has taken.
Time for another statement.
Is Moyes staying to oversee the end of the relegation fight that he predicted after game number two of the season, is he to be given a chance to get us back into the Premier League next time, or is he to be shunted - and now?