His team has just one win in its last 11 games, and the playoffs seem like a mirage.
But even though Toronto FC is in danger of failing to qualify for the Major League Soccer playoffs for a second straight season, John Carver revealed Monday that a commitment has been made by upper management to bring him back as the team's coach next year.
That will be music to the ears of Toronto fans who unfurled a huge sign reading "In Carver We Trust" during Saturday's 3-1 home loss to Chivas USA.
It also comes as a bit of a surprise, because last month Carver told reporters that he was on a one-year deal and that he just started renegotiation talks with Toronto FC.
As it turns out, Carver signed a one-year deal with an option for another year when he joined the team in February.
"My contract was actually a two-year contract, which actually shows you how much I took notice, because I wasn't worried about it," Carver said. "I've always worked that way — I've just let my agent deal with my contract and I don't even look it."
The Englishman also rebutted recent media speculation that he and general manager Mo Johnston are at odds, characterizing their relationship as "good and healthy."
"There's no reason for me to have a riff with Mo … there's not a problem between us," Carver said.
"He's let me get on with my job, and I appreciate the fact that he hasn't interfered with the team. He's not told me what players to pick."
Carver revealed he's already sat down with Johnston and talked about what they plan to do to strengthen the roster for next season.
"We're already planning for when this season comes to an end about where we're going, what we’re going to do and how we're going to recruit," Carver explained. "It's important that we don’t react to the situation now and bring in new people just for the sake of it.
"That's why we're thinking long-term and about next season."
That's not to say Carver has thrown in the towel on the current campaign.
'I haven't given up'
With a 7-11-5 record and 26 points, Toronto remains in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, six points out of a playoff spot with seven games left in the regular season.
Things look bleak, but Carver maintains they can still qualify for the post-season.
"I haven't given up on the situation," he said. "This would be a Houdini act if we can get into the playoffs from the situation we're in right now … I'm not going to give it up."
Because of national team call-ups, Toronto was missing eight players in the loss to Chivas.
The majority of those players will be in action again mid-week for their countries when the World Cup qualifying campaign continues, but Carver hopes to have them all back by Friday morning ahead of Saturday's home game against the Columbus Crew (CBC, CBCSports, ca, 3:30 p.m. ET).
Welsh midfielder Carl Robinson might not make it back in time, though.
"The only one who won't be back Friday is Robo, because he's playing in Russia and that's three hours from Wales and then he would have to fly here, so I don’t know what kind of condition he will be in," Carver said.
Toronto defender Marco Velez was ejected from Saturday's game for hitting a Chivas player in retaliation.
Velez's red card offence means an automatic one-game suspension and fine from the league, but Carver is considering taking internal disciplinary action against the defender who served as the team's acting captain against Chivas.
"I gave him the responsibility of the captain's armband and he got sent off for violent conduct and deserved to be sent off," Carver said. "I'm not going to stand up for him or back him … he's let me and the team down."