Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans is comfortable with the level of expectation around the club.
But he feels the tag of pre-season title favourites with the bookies was simply down to timing and that the late business done by other clubs has put their rivals in very strong positions.
Ahead of Saturday’s big derby at Lincoln City the Stags sit 11th, two points off the play-offs with some fans complaining they expected them to be higher.
“I think the expectations come with the quality of the players here,” he said.
“Fans get annoyed. Some were annoyed when we were beating Grimsby 4-0 because it wasn’t six!
“But we are right to have high expectations. We have high standards in the camp.
“We are everyone’s cup final at the minute because of what people wrote in the summer – not us.
“Some teams did their signings later in the window.
“They couldn’t write much about what was happening down at Luton Town as they didn’t spend over half a million pounds on James Collins and Luke Berry until very late.
“They couldn’t write much about what was happening down at Coventry until Mark Robins went about signing some superb players for the level.
“We did a lot of business early so people wrote words about being favourites. It’s just a tag you have to deal with.
“But with that tag and expectations comes a performance level that needs to be better from all of us.”
Evans continued: “We have lost one League game in the 93rd minute at Accrington when we should have won the game.
“Any manager can say ‘what if’ but the reality is that if we’d drawn at Accrington and seen off Luton we’d be sitting third in the table and everyone would be walking around with a smile. That is based on fact.
“We are doing more right than we’re doing wrong, but it is a new group and people are still getting to know each other and we are still getting to know them.