Darel Russell insists it is time for Preston`s squad to face up to the real challenge of Championship survival.
Manager Darren Ferguson has come in for some harsh criticism in recent weeks following a run of just four wins in 18 games this season, leaving North End six points from safety at the foot of the table.
But Russell believes the club`s players must be held accountable.
He told the Lancashire Evening Post: "We have shown glimpses this season that we are capable of scoring many goals and capable of competing with good teams. But we haven't done it on a consistent basis - that is down to us when we step over the white line.
"It's easy for people to blame managers and coaches in this type of situation, but the bottom line is that we are the players out there. If we are the ones making mistakes and not doing it, we have to take responsibility for that.
"We need to look at ourselves and really start to get things going, realise the situation we are in and fight for our lives."