Paul Lambert has praised the Aston Villa fans for keeping faith with him despite the club being embroiled in a Barclays Premier League relegation battle.
Supporters of the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea have turned against Rafael Benitez and Arsene Wenger despite their success compared to Villa's current plight.
But the Villa supporters have demonstrated great patience with manager Lambert and his crop of new players who face champions Manchester City at Villa Park on Monday evening.
Lambert said: "The Villa fans have been brilliant to me and they've been like that all season long.
"They could have turned pretty quickly with the results - but they have been excellent.
"They've come in their thousands to watch us home and away. I can't ask anymore from the fans, that's for sure.
"You can't keep everybody happy all the time, I understand that, and fans naturally get upset with results.
"But in general terms, the crowd at Aston Villa have been brilliant to me.
"They pay a lot of money to follow the team and will drive us on as always against Manchester City."
Lambert is adamant he is enjoying the battle to stay up and eventually re-establish Villa as a leading force.
He said: "I do relish the challenge. The last few years, this club has been down there (in a relegation battle) with experienced players.
"It's a great honour to be the manager of the club. It's a massive club with a great history. I've never been one to shy away from things.
"You either roll over over and die or meet things head on and I'm not going to roll over."
Lambert has a healthy respect for City but insists Villa will not be running scared despite a 5-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season.
He also takes heart from the recent victory over City by fellow strugglers Southampton who were written off before that game in the same way as he knows Villa will be on Monday.
Lambert said: "I don't think we go into any game frightened of anyone. We have to take the challenge on. We know how good a side they are.
"But we're at home and we're not going to set out stall out (to defend) just because it's Manchester City because you think you are going to get beat. You have to try to win the game.
"I'm sure no-one will expect us to win but I think someone would have said that same thing to Southampton who beat City.
"On any given day you can do that and win a football match against anybody. Over the course of the season you might not be able to match them but on a given day you can win a football match.
"We have to go into it as if we can win it. There's no point in playing otherwise. We're certainly playing well enough to cause them trouble."
And Lambert believes City face an uphill battle to retain their Premier League title.
He said: "It's never over until it is over, but Manchester United are in pole position.
"I think their lead is really big at the minute and they are playing really well.
"That's not to take anything away from Man City who are a top side. Look at the players they've got. But the lead is pretty large at the minute."