Having been sacked himself, rugby league great Brad Fittler knows NRL coaching is a results-driven business.
That's why he's not surprised Dean Pay's number was finally up at Canterbury.
With only one victory from nine games in 2020 and an overall winning record of just 33 per cent from 57 outings during his two-and-a-half season tenure, Pay's strike rate simply didn't cut it for the once-mighty Bulldogs.
Teammates with Pay on the 1994 Kangaroos Tour of Great Britain and France, Fittler's club coaching career lasted but one game more than Pay's.
Fittler, the Roosters' premiership-winning captain in 2002, lasted 58 games as head coach at Bondi Junction before being shown the door after collecting the wooden spoon in 2009.
So he empathises with Pay, who fell victim to a diabolically inherited roster and a ruthless board.
"I just understand the reality of coaching. As simple as that," Fittler told 2GB radio's Wide World of Sports program.
"Whether you're a legend of the club, a legend person, not every legend player or legend of a club is a legend coach."
Fittler said it was cruel fate Pay suffered and hoped the 51-year-old premiership-winning player and representative star wasn't lost to rugby league's coaching ranks.
"I've dealt with Deano with NSW - he did the 20s," said the NSW State of Origin mentor.
"So I've brushed with how he coaches and goes about things.
"I always liked how he plays - he was tough and showed great character and he just most probably didn't have the roster that could play the way that he wants to coach.
"So he'll get something else and he'll stay with footy. We definitely don't want to lose him to the game."