Dave Jones insists he will not walk away from Sheffield Wednesday’s relegation battle.
The former Southampton manager watched a second-half collapse on Tuesday night in a 4-1 defeat to Watford to leave the Owls second-bottom of the Championship.
A record of just two wins in 17 games has piled the pressure on Jones to stop the rot, with a tough trip to another of his former clubs, league leaders Cardiff City, to come on Sunday.
But a defiant Jones – who earlier this week received chairman Milan Mandaric’s support to carry on – said he is “ready for the battle”.
“If you are a wounded animal, what do you do, roll over? Of course you don’t, you get back on your feet and you go again,” said Jones. “We are in a battle and I am ready for a battle.
“People are having a go at me and I will accept all that, but I didn’t make a bad pass, I didn’t go hide out there. I am standing there with them and will fight for them, but they have got to give me something back. The first half they did, but why didn’t they do it in the second half?
“They are better than that, but they have to show it. I will stand here and take as much flak as there is to take, but they have to give better than that second-half performance.
“Is it time to change? The club has done all that, all of a sudden have I become a bad manager overnight? We have got to stick together. Three months ago we got promoted and I was the best manager in the world, now I am the worst manager in the world. I can’t figure that out.
“Look at my record, I have never been in a situation like this before.”
Jones took over from axed Gary Megson in March, becoming the Owls’ ninth manager in 10 years following Terry Yorath, Bill Green, Chris Turner, Paul Sturrock, Sean McAuley, Brian Laws and Alan Irvine.
“At the moment we are going through a very, very rough time,” said Jones. “The only way I know how is to come out fighting, be strong and be brave.
“But if people think someone else is going to do a better job then go and get them. Then if he doesn’t win a few games, then get someone else and someone else.
“Chopping and changing isn’t the right answer. We are in a results business and, sadly sometimes if you don’t get the results, then people think change is best. It normally doesn’t work.
“If the players here think changing a manager is going to be the saviour, history tells you that’s not the way to go about it. What you have to do is scrap and fight.
“My record is there to be looked at and shot at. I can tell you now it’s not a bad record to have, it tells you I get it right. But it’s long-term, not short-term.”