Martin O’Neill has insisted Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner is “not expecting overnight miracles” as he pledged an improvement in the club’s fortunes next season.
Villa, who entertain Everton on Monday evening, are in the bottom half of the Barclays Premiership after a run of just two wins in the last 18 games – and they were against bottom-three sides West Ham and Watford.
O’Neill knows any pressure in the future would have to come from poor results or crowd discontent as he retains the full support and faith of Lerner.
The former Celtic boss said: “Our job is to try to win games and entertain at the same time. That’s something pretty important and I want to do that.
“It’s going to take a bit of time but I expect us to be much better next season. The owner keeps saying to me ’this is a long-haul job’ and he’s genuinely not expecting miracles overnight.
“It won’t be the owner who’s putting me under pressure – it will be results, the crowd, exasperation, frustration and impatience. But you have to accept that.
“That’s the game. You live with it, you have to get on with it.”
Meanwhile, O’Neill has warned there will be “one or two casualties” from his current squad when he sets about rebuilding Villa in the summer.
Lee Hendrie, Jlloyd Samuel, Chris Sutton, Mark Delaney and Patrik Berger are all out of contract at the end of the current campaign.
In addition Liam Ridgewell, Aaron Hughes and Juan Pablo Angel have slipped down the pecking order since the January transfer window.
O’Neill said: “Without going into fantastic detail, having looked at our team here, we would need to strengthen a bit if we’re going to try and compete.
“I would think that’s pretty obvious to me, to the players and to the supporters.
“We need to strengthen if we can. It should be a case now of knowing the players, knowing what’s needed – which I think I do – and trying to do something about it.
“I feel that whoever is good enough here now will still be good enough next season and, if we’re going to add a bit more to the squad, then there might be one or two casualties along the way.”
Central defender Martin Laursen could be back in contention against the Toffees after missing the last two matches – against Arsenal and Liverpool – with a hamstring problem.