Everton manager Ronald Koeman believes he has a "good connection" with the club's board and has hit out at the media for putting "ridiculous" pressure on his side due to their summer spending spree.
Koeman has come under pressure from some quarters in recent weeks after overseeing a run of four straight defeats but saw some of the gloom on Wednesday (20 September) when the Toffees secured a 3-0 win over Sunderland in the Carabao Cup.
The Dutchman's position is certainly not being considered by the Everton hierarchy, but he did draw some criticism for his comments about being "realistic" when addressing suggestions that his side should be challenging for a Champions League spot.
Many were disappointed at what they perceived to be a lack of ambition from the Everton manager, especially when taking into account the club's £140m summer outlay, but Koeman rejected claims that he is not aiming high and simply believes a dose of reality is required.
"Maybe, maybe it was different for people and for everybody because we reached Europa League, had a good game against Stoke, one point against [Manchester] City, and people expected more than what we showed," Koeman said in his press conference.
"They have the easiest job in the world, to analyse and make columns. I know what we are, I know the way to be successful, it's ridiculous to put a lot of pressure by saying we need to finish by the top four, that's ridiculous, everybody has signed new players and strengthened. It doesn't mean we don't have ambition, if there's one person with a lot of ambition, it's on this table [himself]. We need to be realistic, and that's tough."
Everton's poor start to the season has led to questions over Koeman's tenure at Goodison Park. The bookmakers have him has the favourite to be the next one sacked, but the former Southampton manager does not seem to be worried about his job security and is happy with the relationship he has with the Toffees hierarchy.
"I feel a good connection with the board," Koeman said. "I speak about football to Steve Walsh. Everyone knows the direction and difficulty but in football, you need to win, that goes for me and every other manager."