Kevin Nancekivell insists Plymouth have enough spirit to drag themselves out of the relegation zone, despite a 4-0 loss at Port Vale.
Nancekivell, appointed as caretaker manager in the wake of Carl Fletcher's sacking, was left to rue the dismissal of striker Nick Chadwick, which came just moments after Jennison Myrie-Williams had handed the high-flying hosts a 32nd-minute lead.
He said: "I thought we started brightly and the players put into practice what we were working on in the week.
"The sending-off changed the game. I genuinely didn't see the incident myself but if Nick is guilty he will be punished.
"It made things very difficult after that. Port Vale have got a big pitch, quick wide players and matchwinners in the penalty area, so it became tough.
"We were disappointed with the second goal. I felt if we could have hung in there for 25 minutes of the second half we would have got a chance or two, but it wasn't to be.
"There is no problem at all with the spirit of the players. They are a good group of guys who care passionately about the club.
"The lads are hurting at the moment, but I couldn't fault the attitude or application of any of them and I know they will pick themselves up and go again.
"I sensed a real togetherness in the dressing room and when you have got that you have always got a chance."