Walsall skipper Andy Butler has given Dean Smith a vote of confidence, saying he is one of the best managers he has worked under.
Smith finds himself in need of some festive cheer with the midlands club sitting fourth from bottom in League One having claimed just three league wins all season.
After taking over in January, he successfully guided the Saddlers to safety on the final day of last season but they have gone on to once again struggle at the wrong end of the table this term.
Smith has rejected any fears over his position having seen Steve Eyre sacked by fellow strugglers Rochdale earlier this week, and centre-back Butler has backed the Walsall boss with a glowing reference.
"He's a great manager - one of the best I've worked with," he told the Express & Star. "I've played under Brian Laws, Nigel Adkins, Lee Clark and Ian Holloway but, from a personal point of view, the gaffer is one of the best in how he goes about things and approaches the players.
"He's a young manager and things are going to come good for him. He's going to learn his trade and he's going to learn from his mistakes. The second half of the season is a big part for us. We've got a good staff and they all have their input. Since Richard O'Kelly came in (as temporary coach) we haven't been beaten in normal time."