Nigel Reo-Coker claims there is no commitment issue at Bolton, but admits the players need to start taking responsibility for the club's plight.
Trotters boss Owen Coyle questioned the bravery of his squad following a 2-0 defeat at Fulham on Saturday.
He believes multi-millionaire professionals need to get their priorities right, with Bolton firmly entrenched in a relegation battle.
The weekend setback at Craven Cottage was their fifth in a row and their 13th of a forgettable campaign.
Regardless of what happens in their crunch clash with Blackburn on Tuesday, the Trotters know they will be in the drop zone at Christmas.
Reo-Coker acknowledges that it is time for Coyle's squad to 'roll their sleeves up', starting with a midweek meeting with fellow strugglers, but he has played down the concerns aired by his boss regarding dedication to the cause.
He said: "That has no bearing on it as far as I'm concerned. It's nothing to do with wealth or anything at all. It's about football.
"And football teaches you some life lessons and this is a lesson that some of these young boys have to learn very quickly.
"The Premier League is very unforgiving. You can either roll over or you can say, 'I'm going to roll my sleeves up and show that I'm a man'.
"We've got to be men about the situation. It's as simple as that. It's a six-pointer and one we must win.
"This next period of games we have will separate the men from the boys. We are grown men, we are professional footballers.
"This is our job and we have to take full responsibility. There is no time for fear. We have to fight for our survival.
"I don't sense any fear. We can't keep on making excuses and blaming other issues like confidence.
"Whether you are playing Manchester United, Wigan or Blackburn there should be no fear in your mind. You should have full confidence and belief in your own ability."