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His team has underperformed dismally this season but Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons continues to have the support of senior management.

Mark Shapiro, the Blue Jays' president and chief executive officer, who is in his first year with the American League club, said he believes Gibbons is the right person to lead the team through the tough challenges ahead.

It is a belief Shapiro said he shares with Ross Atkins, the Blue Jays' general manager.

"Spending time around Gibby, Ross and I both feel he's a part of the solution," Shapiro said in a telephone interview on Friday. "He's a tough, strong, consistent individual that doesn't panic, yet still feels a strong sense of competitiveness and believes in our players and wants the team to get better."

It has been a tough season – for both Gibbons and the Blue Jays, last season's AL East champions who are wallowing near the bottom of the standing – sparking widespread speculation that the manager's job was on the line.

With a 3-2 extra-innings win over the woeful Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis on Thursday night, the Blue Jays snapped a season-high five-game losing streak to improve their record to 20-23. Toronto remains mired in fourth place in the division.

Gibbons and the players continue to say that it is still early in the season and things can just as quickly fall into place.

But earlier this week, when the Blue Jays were losing three in a row at home to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Toronto clubhouse, from an outsider's perspective, seemed a disconsolate spot.

"Strictly an outsider's view I'd say," pitcher Marcus Stroman said when asked about that perception following Tuesday's loss. "We're fine.

"We're a very confident group, the clubhouse hasn't changed one bit since the very beginning. We know what we're capable of and hopefully we get things rolling here."

Shapiro said that when a team is coming off the kind of a season the Blue Jays enjoyed in 2015, and were expected to be a playoff contender again this year, too often much of the focus is laid at the feet of the manager when things go awry.

That is not to say that Shapiro is not concerned by what he has seen, especially the continued struggles of an offence that led the majors last year in most of the pertinent statistical categories.

This season, with the likes of Troy Tulowitzki, Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin failing to contribute on a consistent basis at the plate, the Blue Jays carried a .233 team batting average into Friday night's game against the Twins. That is the second-lowest mark among the 30 major-league teams with only the San Diego Padres (.226) ranking worse.

"It's been disappointing," Shapiro said of the team's tepid start. "I think, whether it's the coaching staff, players or front office, that's our feeling across the board. While we're still confident that a very talented group of players are going to progress to the mean, there's a sense of urgency that we all feel."

Shapiro said the fact that the Blue Jays have a veteran-laden team not prone to panic should help them pick up the pace.

"And a lot of hard work [is] being done across the board … anything we can do to help along with the level of preparation and hard work it takes to be better," he said. "I think we all seek some solace in the fact that the players have great track records, not just of performance but of character and toughness."

However, even Shapiro said the team can't afford to fall much further.

"We can't wait much longer with some of the other talented teams in the division," he said.

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