David Healy has hit back at Linfield's critics, saying he is happy for his side to remain "in crisis" for the rest of the season.
The Blues reclaimed top spot on Tuesday night after a narrow win over Dungannon Swifts.
Afterwards Healy was in bullish form, suggesting his players' efforts have not got the recognition they deserve - and if leading the way in the Danske Bank Premiership is some people's idea of crisis, he is fine with that.
"Everybody is talking about how great the other teams have been and people are saying Linfield are in crisis," Healy said.
"I'm happy with that - yes, absolutely."
Linfield made hard work of beating the Swifts, who had held them to a 0-0 draw 18 days earlier.
They fell behind, before two goals from Andy Waterworth secured the points.
After the previous week's 3-1 defeat at Larne, it was an important result, moving them a point clear at the top.
Healy admits that, like Tuesday night, Linfield have not been at their best this season.
"The position in the table doesn't lie at the minute," he added.
"Have we been at our best? Probably not. If we had been, maybe we could be six or seven points clear.
"But again, if Crusaders hadn't had the wobble in and around December, they could have been six or seven clear.
"If Glentoran had started the season a little better, they could have been six or seven clear.
"So there are moments in the season when you can look at clubs in and around you.
"But, again, we take care of our own, in-house stuff.
"We know it's difficult because other teams have improved and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon of everyone else."
With 11 rounds of fixtures still to play, the chase for the title remains a five-horse race.
Just four points separate Linfield from fifth-placed Cliftonville.
Healy admits that with little room for error, the race for the Gibson Cup could come down to the finest of margins.
"Everybody is in the same boat - in and around the top five or six teams at the moment," he added.
"Obviously Larne last week, we were deservedly beaten. We were beaten by a better team on the night. Are Larne a better team than us overall? I don't think so, but we were beaten by the better team.
"So, there's a small percentage between all the teams at the moment, and results and whatever else. That could be a wonder-goal, a freak goal, a fluke goal, a strange decision by an official - which can happen.
"There's not much between the teams.
"It would be great to be seven, eight, nine points clear and you could win three, four or five games.
"We don't have that luxury, because other teams have improved."
Healy admitted that, at this stage of the season and with the league so tight, results take priority over performances.
Tuesday night was an example, with the Blues doing just enough to claim the points.
They trailed to Daniel Hughes' clever finish, but Waterworth levelled within just eight seconds of the restart.
The striker then secured the points with a second half header.
Healy - whose side travel to Warrenpoint Town on Saturday - added: "Probably the turning point in the game was them scoring, then us scoring.
"If it had gone 10, 20, 25 minutes, then it would have been difficult, but we got ourselves back into it at a good point."