Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham deserve to receive criticism this season and believes pressure from the club's fans can provide a much-needed wake-up call for his squad.
Tottenham have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions and were knocked out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday after losing on penalties to League Two side Colchester United.
Spurs slipped to seventh in the Premier League after a defeat to Leicester on Saturday and Pochettino insists his players deserve to face scrutiny after their recent performances.
He said: "During my nearly five years, it has all been praise for Tottenham. How good we are, how we work in different ways, how nice is the coach, how nice is the club.
"Now if we deserve to be criticised, we need to accept that. If we don't get the result people expect, then we need to accept the criticism.
"The critics can make you realise that we maybe need to wake up in something, to evolve, to find different ways to evolve.
"I am so relaxed because you cannot live forever in happiness. Up and downs happen. In football, more than in life."
Pochettino added: "The fans are always right to criticise. The fans are the only people who you need to accept criticism from and not complain. They are always right to express their feelings and emotions.
"The fans are emotional, they want to win, they love the club, the fans love the players and sometimes the coaching staff and their manager. Sometimes. But of course, you can say nothing about the fans.
"They keep alive the game that is so beautiful. It is because of the fans that we are here. That is why they are always right to give their opinion."
Pochettino, whose team hosts his former employers Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday, insists the club's recent dip in form is not his most difficult period as Spurs manager.
"No. The most difficult was the first season," said the Argentine, when asked if he is facing his biggest test since arriving in north London.
"Then there were a few seasons that were tough in some periods but I am so relaxed. I become more relaxed in these 'difficult' moments.
"In the end it is only one result. Against Leicester, we deserved to win. Three points more and we are third in the table.
"Then we are talking about fantastic season, fantastic performance, what quality players, what amazing coaching staff, we are winning games and are in the top four. It is only one game.
"The line is so thin so it can one way or the other. Sometimes in football you don't have the luck you deserve."