Brendan Rodgers says he is not frightened by the prospect of losing his job as Liverpool manager – adding that the pressure drives him on.
Rodgers is under intense scrutiny after four league games without a win.
He says he is better at his job now than when he took over in June 2012.
Asked if his job was in danger, Rodgers said: “I’m never complacent enough to think that it has never been. It’s probably what drives a manager on, that fear. Positive fear.”
He added: “Every day you need to be at your best and when you come into here, into a club of this stature, that is always there. It doesn’t frighten me, I have an inherent belief in what I do.”
‘I’m a much better manager now’
Liverpool won their first two matches of the season but have not had a league victory since beating Bournemouth on 17 August.
They scraped past League Two Carlisle on penalties in the League Cup at Anfield on Wednesday.
Reports have suggested that Jurgen Klopp, currently taking a break from football after leaving his job as manager of Borussia Dortmund at the end of May, is interested in a Premier League job.
That has increased speculation about Rodgers’ position, although Liverpool say they have not approached any managers.
Rodgers said: “I think when you’re a manager of club of this size there’s always going to be speculation around the job. If you’re not winning, that will intensify.
“I think there have been 10 managers linked with the club while I’ve been here. You take that as part and parcel of the game.
“I have regular contact with the owners and the relationship has always been strong. Whether I’m here for one day, one month, another year, whatever, I’ll always have a respect for the owners and the people I work with closely here, such as [chief executive] Ian Ayre.
“I walked in here three years ago as a 39-year-old manager and as I sit here today I’m a much better manager. But I understand you need to get results and that is the aim.”
Rodgers finished seventh in his first year at Liverpool, before taking them to within reach of their first league title since 1990 in 2013-14.
As strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge scored 52 league goals between them, Rodgers’ side were five points clear at the top of the table with two weeks of the season to go.
But a home defeat against Chelsea and a 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace – in which Liverpool led 3-0 with 12 minutes left – allowed Manchester City to take the title instead.
Suarez left for Barcelona in July 2014, while Sturridge has suffered four separate injury setbacks since the beginning of last season.
Rodgers said: “We’ve nearly achieved great things. We’re looking to mould players to take them forward. My belief is there but it always has been. But I don’t shy away from the fact that you need results and performances in order to stay in work.”
Rodgers, 42, said he hoped to manage for another 20 years, although he accepted that he would not be at Liverpool for that long.
He said: “To manage the club at this level, to deal with that scrutiny every day, brings challenges. But I’ve loved every minute of it here and I hope that continues.
“I want to ensure I’m going to be here for a long period.
“I hope to be a manager for another 20-odd years – and I accept that 20 years probably won’t be at Liverpool.
“But I want to fight for the players here. They’re an incredible bunch and working harder than ever.”
Brazil forward Roberto Firmino will miss Saturday’s Premier League home match against Aston Villa (15:00 BST) amid concerns that he may have broken a bone in his back, Rodgers said.
Firmino has withdrawn from the Brazil squad for World Cup qualifiers against Chile on 8 October and Venezuela three days later, after landing awkwardly during the first half against Carlisle.
Centre-back Dejan Lovren will be out for several weeks after damaging ankle ligaments in the same game, while striker Christian Benteke will not face former club Villa because of a hamstring problem.
Rodgers is already without captain Jordan Henderson, who has had surgery on a broken bone in his foot and will not return until November.
“Firmino landed awkwardly and may have cracked a bone in his back,” Rodgers said.
“You always want a fully-fit squad. It’s the nature of it. We’ve Jordan Henderson out as well. Important players are unavailable. But we’ll manage it. There’s no timeline on Christian or the others. We’ll see how they go.”