Didier Digard has admitted he did not expect Middlesbrough to become embroiled in a relegation battle this season.
The Frenchman helped Boro make a solid start to the campaign after moving to The Riverside from Paris St Germain last summer.
But Gareth Southgate's side have struggled badly since the turn of the year and are currently three points adrift of safety, with just three games remaining.
Digard is shocked by the situation but feels confident that Boro can turn things around and climb out of the drop zone.
"I am very surprised because at the start of the season, we felt we had a good staff and some good players, so it is hard," he explained.
"But when you lose two, three, four games on the trot, in your head it is hard.
"After that, confidence is not there and it is hard. But I am not afraid in this situation because I know we have good enough players to stay in the Premier League."
Digard is not sure what has gone wrong, adding: "I don't know, it is hard.
"There are some small problems, but when it is small problem after small problem after small problem - sometimes you are unlucky, sometimes the other team is just better.
"It is a different problem every time, but I don't know exactly the big problem."