Gus Poyet has admitted he is not enjoying life as he attempts to drag Sunderland out of danger.
The 46-year-old Uruguayan cast a forlorn figure last Saturday night after seeing the Black Cats slip to a second Premier League defeat in four days at the Stadium of Light which left them five points adrift at the foot of the table.
Poyet and his players will resume their survival battle at West Ham today with some of their own supporters believing their fate is already sealed. The manager does not subscribe to that theory and although he admits the club's season is fast approaching the point of no return, he is not about to give up.
Asked if he had ever experienced anything like the Black Cats' current plight, Poyet said: "No. But I accepted the challenge and now I am not going to hide. I have got no problems.
"Is it enjoyable? No, I can tell you it's not, but I don't think everybody gets a job and tries to enjoy the job.
"That's a dream job. That's what I have said to the players: You want to play football? Yes. You want to earn money? Yes. Have you got a lovely place to train? Yes. Then you are lucky because you are enjoying your life.
"But at the moment, no, I am not really enjoying my life. But it's the way it is. I am trying to make sure I can enjoy it in a few weeks' time."
If Poyet is to enjoy a little respite, his team's fortunes will have to improve markedly after a run of four games which has yielded just a single point in the wake of an impressive victory over Manchester City.
Chelsea and Tottenham both left Wearside with the points safely banked last week, although Jose Mourinho's men had to work extremely hard to come out on the right end of a seven-goal thriller.
Poyet's opposite number today, Sam Allardyce, has had heart problems in the past and Poyet admits that level of tension is the lot of the modern football manager.
He said: "It's how we are, how we live football and how much we like to win football games and how much we care. We are different characters. That's the way we are, we cannot change."