Shaun Gale this morning insisted he is the best man to lead the Hawks.
Pressure has mounted on the Westleigh Park boss after a crushing Blue Square Bet South home defeat to Dartford on Saturday.
Hawks fans were quick to voice their anger after that 4-1 reverse.
The supporters are frustrated to see the team languishing in 16th spot and facing a fight for survival, with some quarters calling for Gale’s dismissal.
The club’s board are also well aware of their misfiring troops and how critical the remainder of the season has now become.
But Gale is adamant he can still take the club forward.
‘There have been people who have wanted me out since the day I took over four years ago,’ said the former Pompey player.
‘I accept criticism is part and parcel of the job and comes with the territory.
‘There have been people, including some within the club, who have been on a bit of a witch hunt for the past few years.
‘We were not good enough against Dartford and have to be big enough to take it on the chin.
‘Once again we were guilty of shooting ourselves in the foot after getting back into the game.
‘We failed to defend two set-pieces and gave away poor goals.
‘Three or four players were off the boil and that makes it difficult to win football matches. We are underachieving and that has been down to a lack of consistency all season.
‘In my view, we should be up there challenging for a play-off spot and we are not.
‘We have still only lost three times in the last 12 games but too many have been drawn.
‘As a team we will continue to work hard on and off the pitch to put things right.’
Gale took the Westleigh Park helm in October 2007 when Ian Baird suddenly departed to manage Eastleigh.
And in his first year in charge, he helped guide the Hawks on a memorable FA Cup run which culminated in a visit to Anfield to face Liverpool in the fourth round.
The following season he tasted FA Cup success again when reaching the first round proper and hosting Brentford in a televised encounter.
League success, though, has continued to elude Gale and failure to make the play-offs in the past few seasons has come as a huge disappointment.
But Gale insists he should be judged on his whole tenure, rather than just the recent sticky patch.
‘People forget that when I first took over the club gates were not far from being closed,’ he said.
‘Two or three people had put the club in massive debt.
‘We are now a million miles away from that and the club has come a long way.
‘I love this club and will continue to put my heart and soul into it until the powers that be think otherwise.’