Newcastle United boss Sam Allardyce hit out at his players after they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at lowly Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day.
The Magpies had drawn 2-2 with rock-bottom Derby County on their previous outing, with Allardyce accepting that his players need to do much better to try and climb the table.
He told the club's official website: "The level of form they've dropped to is unacceptable. Everyone can have an off-day, but our off-days are really off.
"Right now the only pressure on us is what we're putting on ourselves because we're performing at that level.
"We should be big enough and professional enough to cope with what's thrown our way. We're professionals and we have to perform under pressure.
"We have to accept that pressure and use it as a positive, not a negative, not shrivel and die.
"You have to roll your sleeves up, wear your heart on your sleeve and go and fight, because that's what gets you out of difficult situations.
"Then you use the abilities you have, but we can't rely on ability alone to win us matches. You need more than that to win games in this league."