Fabio Capello insists he is strong enough to cope with the pressure of England's do-or-die clash with Slovenia on Wednesday.
With speculation mounting Capello will quit if England fail to secure a place in the knockout stages and his players openly questioning a hard-line strategy that appears ill-suited to spending weeks away in camp, the Italian has to try and keep a cool head and get his tactics right. It is not going to be an easy task but Capello insists he can cope.
"I am strong enough to deal with it," he said. "It is no problem for me. I work hard and I prepare everything. That is important. Every morning I look in the mirror and ask whether I have worked and whether I have studied everything. Yes I have. For this reason I will accept the criticism and everything. I don't know what the result will be but I do know the result is the most important thing."
I don't understand why during a game we don't change the rhythm or the speed. We are really slow.
Yet getting that result has proved elusive so far. The senior Football Association figures in South Africa insist they remain solidly behind Capello and are not even thinking about the worst case scenario.
"We are absolutely focused on Wednesday night's game," said Club England managing director Bevington last night. Nothing else is in our minds. We are fully supportive of Fabio Capello and the England team and believe they will have the total support of the England fans in Port Elizabeth this week."
Yet even Capello admits he is at a loss to explain precisely why his team have been performing so poorly. Just like his very first game in charge, against Switzerland at Wembley in February 2008, the Italian has seen some excellent training ground performances completely fail to be transferred into a match situation.
"Yes, it almost feels like all the work of the last two years has been for nothing," he sighed. "I am not happy because we have worked hard for 20 days. You see all the things during the training. Then on the pitch it is completely different. As a manager, when that happens it is no good. I don't understand why during a game we don't change the rhythm or the speed. We are really slow. At this World Cup if you don't run or press or fight it is difficult to go forward."