Charlie Adam has jumped to the defence of under-fire Stoke boss Mark Hughes after his side's 1-0 defeat to Newcastle at the bet365 Stadium.
Ayoze Perez scored the only goal of the game and Potters fans were quick to show their dissatisfaction, with boos and at least one 'Hughes Out' banner greeting the final whistle.
But Adam, a fixture in the Stoke side since he joined from Liverpool in 2012, insists it is the players who must bear the brunt of the blame.
Asked if he was disappointed with the reaction to Hughes, Adam said: "Of course I am because he has done a wonderful job here.
"Times are tough, let's not hide from it, and we are under pressure as a group.
"The management team, the players, we are the ones who have to take the flak and stick. It's thoroughly deserved at the moment and it's only us who can change it.
"I just think situations like that don't help. But we've got to get ourselves out of the mess we're in."
The pressure eased slightly on Hughes after four points from two games over Christmas but his decision to rest players for Saturday's 5-0 defeat at Chelsea backfired.
Stoke will take a much-needed break from Premier League action when they travel to League Two Coventry in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Adam added: "He (Hughes) has transformed the club and hopefully he gets the opportunity to take us to the end of the season and get us out of the mess we are in.
"We have got characters in the dressing room, and hopefully one or two maybe in the window to liven it up, and see where that takes us."