Stefano Pioli expressed confidence that his Milan side can respond against Lazio following a disappointing sequence of results.
The defending Serie A champions have endured back-to-back 2-2 draws in the league against Roma and Lecce to leave them 12 points behind leaders Napoli, albeit with a game in hand.
Pioli's side also suffered a Coppa Italia defeat to Torino and lost the Supercoppa against rivals Inter in Saudi Arabia, resulting in a four-match winless streak in all competitions.
Milan are looking to return to winning ways on Tuesday when they travel to face Lazio, and Pioli is confident the team will respond in a positive manner.
"We have to face these moments, it will be another exam to overcome with humility and unity," he said at a press conference.
"Criticism is there, because the performances have been below our possibilities and the expectations, which, being Milan, are very high, we have strong roots.
"There have been experiences with lightness and good humour, now we need compactness and the will to react. My players are not bad, they deserve my trust and respect.
"We needed to reset. The situations to improve are tactical, technical and mental. The most important aspect is the mental one.
"It's good to remember how we managed to win last year in Rome, going through difficulties, but maintaining balance and focus until winning the game at the end.
"When you coach such a strong team, it's normal that my expectations are also aimed at a maximum performance and result.
"From the missed victory against Roma to the derby, we had to do more. Now we have two options: either to continue feeling sorry for ourselves or to react. I'm sure it's the latter."