Andy Dawson has insisted that Hull City's slump did not start with Phil Brown's half-time team-talk at Manchester City.
The Tigers had been trailing 4-0 against Man City on Boxing Day when Brown decided to speak with his players on the pitch in front of the travelling supporters, rather than in the privacy of the dressing room.
Brown was criticised in some quarters at the time and Hull have since endured a miserable second half to the season.
They have been dragged back into the relegation battle but Dawson believes it would be wrong to blame the manager.
Speaking about the incident at Man City, Dawson said in the Daily Telegraph: "I wouldn't say that's had an effect.
"What he's done here has been second to none. What happened there was his decision and that was up to him, but it's definitely not down to that game why we are where we are now.
"Everything the manager has done has been for the best of the players and we appreciate now that he's trying to do everything to lift the players' morale."
Hull missed an opportunity to ease their relegation worries on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Stoke.
But Dawson has vowed to keep fighting in the remaining matches against Bolton and Manchester United.
"We built it up and knew it was a must-win game (against Stoke)," he commented.
"We've got two massive, massive games left in the Premier League. We've got to give everything."