Steve Bruce knows only too well that Sunderland fans are more than a little concerned at their alarming drop down the table. They have started calling the Sunderland boss a Geordie again.
'I'll have to take all that,' he admitted. 'But, let me tell you, I've got a skin like a rhinoceros. It doesn't worry me. I won't shy away from it, that's for sure.'
Bruce meets former club Wigan today, looking for a considerable improvement on Monday's awful goalless draw with Stoke.
Bruce said: 'I can understand the frustration but I'm still the same manager who got the club off to the best start in 30 years. For whatever reason, in the last eight weeks, it has gone a bit pear-shaped.
'You have to try to adapt, learn from it and learn from your mistakes and get better.
'We got off to a wonderful start, maybe too good. It was just like the North East - everyone's expectation went "whoosh".
'From being a bottom-five team two years on the trot, all of a sudden we were going for Europe.
'I tried to say, "Woah, hold on a minute" but that's what it is. That's why I'm here. I'm relishing the challenge even though it's not easy at the minute.'
Andy Townsend's boot room: Andy's match - Spurs v Aston Villa, plus team news and stats for every Premier League matchTHE FIRING LINE: Avram is tops of the league. of managers on their way out