Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has admitted to the Shields Gazette that he is concerned by the atmosphere around the Stadium of Light at present.
The Black Cats have frustrated their supporters with a lack of attacking intent and Poyet feels that the annoyance in the stands is starting to impact on displays on the pitch.
Sunderland fans are understandably keen to see the ball played forward with urgency, but the pressurised environment they are now playing in at home is harming some player's games, according to Poyet.
“It worries me a lot,” the Uruguayan said in the Shields Gazette.
“In football, we are not all the same characters, in terms of playing with nerves and rumours in the stadium. It’s not for everyone. You need to be very, very strong individually and even more as a group.
“That’s creating, I’m not saying a fear, but doubts in some players that they prefer to do things a little bit different to what they normally do."
Sunderland have scored just 19 goals in their 22 Premier League matches to date, and a 0-0 draw with Championship side Fulham in the FA Cup this weekend has placed further pressure on them to start hitting the back of the net.
Poyet brought in Jermain Defoe to increase the side's scoring threat and has promised to play with two strikers more often following his arrival, but if this move fails to provide more entertainment then things look difficult.
At the moment the Black Cats are only just outside the relegation zone and they need to get their supporters back on side if they are to start climbing up the table.
The only way the side can do this is if they to start scoring more frequently and Poyet will be desperate to get things right in the coming weeks - because his defensive tactics are no longer being accepted.