Norwich City boss Alex Neil questioned his side’s passion after the Canaries lost 2-0 at fellow Premier League strugglers Aston Villa.
Neil’s side have now lost six straight games in all competitions and slipped into the relegation zone after Newcastle’s 1-0 win over West Brom.
They have shipped 19 goals in their last six outings and rarely looked like recovering after Joleon Lescott’s first-half opener.
When asked if the Canaries showed enough character, Neil said: “Not until we were 2-0 down.
“If you watch the Premier League they shouldn’t need building up. That’s motivation in itself. Nobody wants to feel the pain of relegation. I’ve got two promotions back-to-back and the last thing I want to do is go back.
“I’ve been used to winning and when you start losing it’s difficult to handle. It’s not nice. You want to fight, you need the players to do that. They have to show that passion.
“What we have to do is make sure we have enough bottle to respond. If you are that fragile and your confidence is hurt because you’ve lost a couple of games you’re in the wrong game.”