Carlo Ancelotti says his Paris Saint-Germain squad are disappointed with the way they have started the season, but added he has faced tougher times as a coach as he prepares for Tuesday's Champions League encounter with Porto.
The Italian's position at the Parc des Princes has come into question with his team having slipped to fourth in the Ligue 1 table after a miserable run of form in which just four points from a possible 15 have gone PSG's way.
His players have not escaped criticism either, and Ancelotti conceded the squad are aware they are yet to meet expectations. "The criticism is sometimes deserved. Right now, everyone's disappointed, because we haven't started the season well," Ancelotti said. "Things are going to change, because they're not normal right now. The league isn't finished. We'll be competitive soon."
With five points separating his team from Ligue 1 leaders Lyon, Ancelotti's domestic troubles are causing some discomfort, but in Europe, the four-time Champions League winner [twice as a player, twice as a manager] has looked at ease. Progress to the last 16 of the Champions League has already been secured, and Porto arrive at the Parc des Princes for Tuesday's final Group A encounter with only a point in hand over PSG.
Though in the eye of the media storm, Ancelotti, who has seen Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger all linked to his job in recent days, remains relaxed. "The first goal was to get out of the group. We've done that; that was important," he said. "This isn't the most difficult moment [of my career]. A coach's role is to handle the difficult times when they come.
"The pressure comes from the match, which is normal as the prize is significant. I think it'll be a good game. I have a positive gut feeling about it."