Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela claims the past few months of media speculation and criticism from fans was a painful time for him.
Amakhosi have turned the corner with a four-match winning run that has seen them rise to the Premiership summit, albeit against a lower standard of opposition - it's a far cry from the dismal form shown previously under the guidance of Komphela.
Wins over Ajax Cape Town, Free State Stars, Maritzburg United and Highlands Park has seen the pressure lift off his shoulders and Komphela admits his first season is what hurt him the most.
"There are certain books that I just go and read, and those books will define what you are going through," he told the SowetanLIVE.
"The minute that definition is given, you get the comfort and say, 'by the way, I did not expect any less'. Sometimes it is painful, but it's a way of making you grow as a person.
"And under such, you try to say less and only request for more time and more strength that you should do more. Up until that time, the question marks shall forever remain. Better to focus on the job at hand, so the response will be on the field.
"There is a stage where we and Itu [Khune] were having a discussion that if you are good you got to face the storms. The speed at which you travel will equal the pressure of the wind you face. It is a fact of life."
Meanwhile, Chiefs shift their focus to Maritzburg United in a Telkom Knockout Round of 16 clash on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 20:15.