Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham's Premier League position is not a surprise and fears the club cannot move forward quickly.
Last season's Champions League finalists are 11th in the table after 11 games, having won just three times in the top flight this season.
Away form has been a particular problem, with Spurs having not won on the road in the league since January 20, while injury-time goals have cost them in recent visits to Liverpool and Everton.
Their domestic travails have not been echoed in Europe, though, with Wednesday's 4-0 defeat of Red Star Belgrade meaning they will progress to the last 16 of the Champions League if they beat Olympiacos on matchday five.
Pochettino believes there are plenty of positive signs within the club, who are being profiled this season by Amazon as part of their All or Nothing documentary series, but he suggests they have nonetheless regressed towards the standards of 2014, when he took charge.
"It's our reality. With all the circumstances, I think it's normal to be in the position we are," he said on Friday.
"We are working, trying to perform better and get better results. I have mentioned the circumstances. We are in the right direction to find the balance in the squad, the right way to perform, and we do as well as we can.
"Today is still so early. If we are able to find the right balance and perform in the way that we expect, of course it's still there, It's possible. We need to make sure we have the time to get everything right.
"We went back to five years ago where we were in terms of position, situation and stuff like that. It takes time. We can't move the club forward quickly. There are so many things. The time is the problem. It's a natural process.
"We need to stay calm and, like always, work hard, because that is the way to change this dynamic. But the time is the time and the process is the process.
"It's different than five years ago, but with a lot of similarities. It's difficult to talk now because I don't want to talk again about negative things. I want to be positive. I promise you, if it's all going well at the end of the season, I will explain - for you, and for Amazon, too!
"But I want to be positive. I think the signals in the past few weeks have been very positive. I know very well that to have a positive spirit and provide a good mood for everyone is so important. I think we talk a lot and it's not helpful.
"Now, there are a lot of positive things that we need to speak about and keep going, keep moving. All the fans, the club deserve that we start winning games again to be in a better position. Of course, in the Champions League, we are in a very good position now. But I think in the Premier League table, we are not."
Pochettino also offered an update on Hugo Lloris, who is recovering from a dislocated elbow sustained against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Spurs confirmed on Thursday that the goalkeeper has had to have surgery on the injury, which had not been healing as hoped.
The France international had been due to return in early 2020 but there are now fears he could be sidelined for longer.
"I didn't see him the last week - he wasn't here," said Pochettino. "But he is strong, he's very mature, a man. Of course, he's suffering now a little bit but he's going to come strong again."