Burton caretaker boss Gary Rowett admitted his side looked like they had already thrown in the towel in their 4-0 defeat at AFC Wimbledon.
Albion sacked Paul Peschisolido last weekend after 14 games without a win and defeat to the Dons extended that run to 16 matches following a midweek loss to fellow strugglers Northampton.
Rowett's Brewers face Gillingham next and the temporary boss fears it will be more of the same unless he witnesses a change in attitude.
"I think a few of the players in there look like they have given up the ghost a little bit," said Rowett. "I said 'look it doesn't matter what happens. Gillingham is another game and you're going to have to do something about it. You can't walk around feeling sorry for yourselves'.
"I think we've seen the culmination of things of the past few months. I think we're not fit enough, we haven't done as much work as we need to on our shape, on organisation and at times players need to be braver. If you look at our goals record over the last seven games, we've only scored one goal and unfortunately it means you're always trying to push, always trying to change it.
"We were a little bit naive at times during the second half. To get out of any kind of slump in results you've got to be brave. All we can do it puff our chests out and try and come out and be a bit more honest."