Thomas Muller does not believe Carlo Ancelotti should be made a scapegoat after the Italian was sacked by Bayern Munich at the end of September.
There had been rumours in the weeks leading up to his sacking that several key players in the dressing room were unhappy with his methods and had expressed that behind the scenes.
Bayern sit five points behind pacesetters Borussia Dortmund after seven matches, but Muller does not believe all the blame should be laid at the feet of Ancelotti.
Speaking to reporters at an Audi event, Muller said: "A big part of this [their recent struggles] is caused by the team that stands on the pitch and does not perform like people expect it to.
"We must be realistic about this and not be of the opinion that Carlo Ancelotti was a scapegoat."
Jupp Heynckes was installed as Ancelotti's replacement until the end of the season, but Muller has urged fans not to expect an instant improvement.
"We should be very careful about setting targets which we can throw into the bin afterwards again," he said.
"We won't suddenly play football from another galaxy. There will of course be matches where people see us and be very critical."