Stoke manager Tony Pulis has called for the side's fans to take a reality check after coming under fire for a disappointing run of results.
Pulis' side sit 11th in the Premier League, higher than the 14th place finish they managed last season, but find themselves only nine points clear of the relegation zone.
After a run of just one win in nine league games, supporters have become frustrated with a perceived lack of improvement.
"You have to accept that there is going to be criticism," Pulis told reporters.
"It's such a tough job at this level. The fans want improvement year after year, but someone has to take a reality check now and again.
"I watched Bolton last Tuesday. I saw Wolves play in a relegation fight in the Championship, and Blackburn. Three clubs who've been relegated and we are fortunate to be where we are.
"The problem you have is that the more successful you are in terms of what we have achieved and the size of the club, people want more.
"But that's life. If you don't accept that, you shouldn't be a manager."