SHEFFIELD United manager Micky Adams last night revealed he has left his players under no illusion about the challenge ahead as they battle for Championship survival.
And Adams, who took charge of the South Yorkshire club only towards the end of last month, warned he will censure any member of his squad suspected of adopting a "blas" approach to their current plight.
"I don't want to hear anyone saying this is Sheffield United and we're too big or too good to go down," Adams said. "It's exactly that type of attitude that does get you relegated.
"It's easy saying we're a big club and thinking, because of that, we only have to turn up and everything will work out fine.
"We're in a battle and so we've got to battle.
"One of the things that's pleased me, though, is that the tempo of training has really improved. I'm not having a pop at previous managers. That's not my intention or way of going about things.
"But I have stressed that we are in a battle."
Adams, whose side prepared for today's visit of high-flying Norwich City 21st in the table, wants to foster a ruthless mentality behind the scenes reminiscent of the one which helped predecessors Dave Bassett and Neil Warnock enjoy considerable success at Bramall Lane.
Having been appointed only four games ago, Adams is still searching for his first win in charge but already appears to have repaired the soft underbelly which has contributed to United's current predicament.
Reflecting on recent draws against Doncaster Rovers and Coventry City, the 49-year-old added: "It's far too early to say we've turned a corner.
"But what I will say is that I'm pleased with the spirit the boys
have shown so far. When they've had to throw themselves in the way of the ball or put their bodies on the line they've done that. They've done what I've asked them to do and credit to them.
"But we need to see even more of that. It needs to carry on.
"We kept a clean sheet at Coventry and hopefully that will give the players a bit of confidence."
Meanwhile, sources in Scotland claim that United are monitoring Alexei Eremenko should Kilmarnock decide to lower their 1 million asking price. The Finland international is a free-kick specialist.
United will assess the fitness of Kyle Bartley and Shane Lowry before their meeting with Norwich. Bartley missed training earlier this week due to illness while his fellow defender has been nursing a slight groin strain but is also expected to feature.