Manuel Pellegrini has shrugged off criticism of his reign at Real Madrid and accepted it came with the territory.
Pellegrini has made a solid, if unspectacular, start to life at the Bernabeu, but the foundations collapsed on Tuesday night when his side were hammered 4-0 at third-tier side Alcorcon in the Copa del Rey.
That humiliating defeat has prompted calls for the sacking of the Chilean who only joined Madrid from Villarreal over the summer.
The man himself admitted ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Getafe there was little he could do to stop the speculation and insisted he remained focused on the job in hand.
He said: “I have been in Spain for five years and I understand it is something normal for a Real Madrid coach to deal with.
“There have been eight or nine coaches in recent years.
“I don’t think plotting the downfall of the coach is the right way to go.
“But I don’t feel attacked. It comes with the job.”
Tuesday’s defeat was also notable for accusations of a half-time row between Pellegrini and experienced midfielder Guti.
Both coach and player poured cold water on the reports today but Guti, who turns 33 tomorrow, was nevertheless left out of the squad for the Getafe game.
“He was never disrespectful,” insisted Pellegrini.
“Guti and I have spoken a lot one-on-one. I am troubled by the fact that a player has been hurt when he did nothing wrong.
“Every player has a unique attitude and it is my job to get what I need from each one of them.”
Pellegrini is adamant the team will improve when they get used to his way of playing and denied his job was on the line over the next few weeks.
He added: “I know what we are doing and I am certain we will see an improvement.
“We need to find our identity, which comes with time.
“The team had been playing on the counter attack in recent years, but I like a different kind of football.
“I have spent the last five years looking at this from the outside.
“The top brass here gave me a contract to carry this team forward.
“I have a good relationship with (Jorge) Valdano and (Miguel) Pardeza, and neither have put my job in question.”
The irony could be that it is a former Real Madrid player who deepens the crisis at his former employers.
Getafe boss Michel made over 400 appearances for Madrid but he insists sentiment will not play a part tomorrow.
“It has nothing to do with nostalgia even though I’ve spent my whole life there, and everything I am as a person and as a sportsman I owe to Real Madrid,” he said.
“But I cannot forget that what I was taught was to always be ambitious and go to win.
“The Bernabeu is a magnificent stadium but I will be doing my utmost to win there.
“The team is good and I don’t think there will be an issue with concentration as we are playing against a great team.”