Stuart Pearce is refusing to panic despite the abrupt end to his honeymoon period as Manchester City boss.
Pearce has enjoyed a hugely impressive first nine months since succeeding Kevin Keegan as Blues manager in March, guiding City to within a missed penalty kick of a place in the UEFA Cup last term, then taking the Eastlands outfit into the higher reaches of the Premiership this season.
But fears brought on by a dip in form prior to the Christmas period have come to crushing reality.
City picked up just one point from their four festive fixtures and last night's home defeat by Tottenham not only saw City booed off but also brought the first murmurings of discontent with Pearce himself, who was jeered for bringing off popular youngsters Nedum Onuoha and Stephen Ireland during the second half.
Saturday's FA Cup visit of League One Scunthorpe threatens more misery given City's chronic recent record in knockout competitions, including a Carling Cup exit to Doncaster earlier this season.
But, while Pearce accepts he is facing the first major test of his managerial ability, he is convinced City will emerge stronger as a result.
'You only learn lessons about yourself and those around you when things are going badly,' he said.
'At the moment we are having a tough time but it is important everyone at this club rolls their sleeves up and does something about it.
'The booing was as much to do with me as with the players. I am the figurehead.
'It is funny how things change. Fifteen games ago I was going to be the next England manager.
'When things are going well, people get swept along with it. Now the situation is different.
'That is not a problem for me. I have never been the kind of person who would panic.
'Last night was not a good one for the club. The fans' frustration is mirrored in mine and the players. I would have been unhappy if I had paid to see that.'
Pearce's major concern is an apparent unwillingness from his team to take responsibility on the field.
With the exceptions of Joey Barton, Trevor Sinclair and Andy Cole, most of the City players were content to just pass the ball around without attempting to commit their opponents to a tackle.
As a result, Spurs keeper Paul Robinson did not have a shot to save in the entire contest, meaning there was no way back once Sylvain Distin's defensive abberation had gifted Mido his first-half opener.
'It is important we get the players together, sit down and have a chat about how we can put things right,' said Pearce.
'The main worry for me is that we don't look as though we want to receive the ball. I know we have one or two youngsters in the side but I am talking about the seniors as well.
'It is not so much the effort, more a nervousness in terms of what we are trying to achieve.
'But I am not a shrinking violet. I will not run away and hide. I need to get the players behind me and tell them what we are going to do about it. We are the only ones who can put this situation right.'
Lengthy injuries to key men Claudio Reyna and Danny Mills have not helped Pearce recently.
City have won just twice in the seven games since Mills was sidelined with a fractured shin, part of an overall run which has brought the Blues only eight points from their last 10 Premiership outings.
Pearce's problems are only likely to increase, with the FA almost certain to take action against David Sommeil following the Frenchman's studs-first tackle on Lee Young-pyo.
A probable three-match ban would rule Sommeil out of the Manchester derby, which Ben Thatcher will also miss after picking up his fifth booking of the season last night, plus the visit to Bolton on January 21.
It would leave an already weak squad close to breaking point, emphasising why Pearce believes four new additions will be necessary before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month.
Talks with Espanyol winger Albert Riera are on-going, while Shrewsbury have informed City they will need to increase their £100,000 offer if they are to stand any chance of signing England Under-19 keeper Joe Hart.