Pep Guardiola says he might not be good enough for his Manchester City players, rather than the other way round.
City have lost four of their past eight league games and slipped to fifth with Sunday's 4-0 defeat at Everton.
They play Tottenham at home on Saturday and Guardiola says questions should be asked of him as well as his squad.
"I don't understand the lack of respect for amazing players when people say they are not good enough for me," the Spanish manager said.
"Maybe the expectations about my coming here and the commentary on us winning 10 games in a row were exaggerated," he added.
"Maybe I'm not good enough for them."
After beginning his spell at City with a run of 10 consecutive wins, former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola accepts he is not used to the situation he finds himself in.
In seven seasons as a top flight manager in Spain and Germany, he won six league titles, four domestic cups and two Champions League finals.
"It is the first time I have been in this situation and I want to handle it, but I am not going to say my players are no good," he said.
"I want to be top but we are not."
Has Aguero's contract been extended?
There has been some uncertainty over the length of Sergio Aguero's contract.
The Argentina striker, 28, signed a new five-year deal in 2014, but rumours about a further one-year extension have persisted for a number of months.
Whilst Guardiola did not completely confirm the Argentine had signed on for additional year to 2020, it does seem the deal has been done.
"He has signed a contract extension, I think," said Guardiola.
"Sergio will be here until he decides. He's our best striker."