Rome: Inter Milan's players have sprung to the defence of under fire coach Leonardo following the side's crushing defeats to AC Milan and Schalke 04.
Inter's season went into meltdown over the last few days as they were beaten 3-0 in the Milan derby to drop five points off the Serie A summit and then humiliated 5-2 at home to Schalke in the Champions League, leaving them virtually out of that competition.
Leonardo has since come under fire both in the Italian press and fan forums on the internet.
But for captain Zavier Zanetti, he is still the man to do the job.
"He's a real man, he's an amazing person in every sense, he believes in us and we believe in him," said the veteran Argentine, who says Leonardo is responsible for turning around the club's fortunes following Rafael Benitez's disastrous six-month tenure.
"Since he came here we've been reborn and I believe he should stay here because we like him."
Zanetti also hit out at the brickbats who have been ruthless since Tuesday's loss.
"We all feel bitter about the defeats to Milan and Schalke but this team has done nothing but win for the last six years and I think some people were just waiting for the first difficulty to start criticising," he told Inter Channel.
"But we know how things work and luckily we'll rise above certain things."
"I'd be surprised if people only said good things, that would be something to worry about."
"Inter fans shouldn't listen to the critics, they have to use their own heads to analyse everything that's been said and written about Inter these last few days."
"We players know that when you win you're great and when you lose you're nothing."
"The true Inter fan, however, knows that the team cares and from this point of view I've got nothing to reproach our fans about."
His thoughts were echoed by compatriot Esteban Cambiasso, who pointed out that Inter are the only Italians left in Europe.
"The team and the club are with Leonardo and so too are the fans," he said.
"They've shown their affection for the players who only a few months ago won the Club World Cup."
"We're the only (Italian) club still fighting on all (three) fronts but some people seem to forget that."
"We've lost two important games but we can still make up for that. It would have been worse to have lost like that in Germany (in the second leg) because then we would have been out of Europe like the other Italian clubs."