Kevin Ball believes there is enough pride and fight within the Sunderland dressing room to get the club out of trouble.
The 48-year-old former Black Cats midfielder was asked to step into the breach for the second time at the weekend following Paolo Di Canio's untimely sacking.
Having guided the side he inherited from the Italian to a 2-0 Capital One Cup third-round victory over Peterborough in midweek, the interim head coach, to give him his full title, is now finalising preparations for the more daunting proposition of Liverpool's Barclays Premier League visit to the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
Ball, who has put himself forward as a possible replacement for Di Canio, is under no illusions as to the task ahead for however long he remains in the post - he was initially asked to take charge for two games - but thinks the kind of passion which fuelled his own playing days exists within the current squad despite the events of recent weeks.
He said: "You would like to think it is always there for them. You have got to understand as a coach, we have a role to play, but that's got to come from them, the responsibility has got to lie with them.
"We can help them, we can facilitate stuff, but that's got to come from them.
"In the time we have had them, we have watched it closely, but we have tried to make it good footballing sessions.
"There has always got to be a time for a laugh and a joke, but they have also got to understand it's work."
Ball has stepped seamlessly from his role as senior professional development coach into the hot-seat vacated by Di Canio, but admits he has no clear idea how long he may remain in charge.
He revealed after Tuesday night's game that he hoped to discuss his situation with club officials this week, but such has been the level of activity both at the training ground and in the boardroom, that did not happen.