Dave Edwards says Wolves are under no illusions about the position in which they currently find themselves in the Sky Bet Championship table after losing 2-0 to Sheffield Wednesday at Molineux on Saturday.
Edwards, who has seen battles at both ends of various league tables during his long stint in gold and black, pulled no punches as he faced the media after the weekend's defeat.
"We're in a relegation fight," the Welshman said. "We need to recognise that. It's now about getting ourselves out of this mess and the only way we're going to do that is by getting results through hard work.
"We need to be strong and be proper men out there.
"You look at Sheffield Wednesday, they are a team full of men and at times in the first half we didn't look like that.
"Me, as captain on Saturday, I've got to lead and it is down to us in the changing rooms.
"We need to realise – which we do in the dressing room – and the manager was the first to say it when he came in – we are in a relegation fight."
A Fernando Forestieri penalty and a Kieran Lee finish gave Wednesday a two-goal half-time cushion on Saturday, and despite a more competitive second half performance Wolves were unable to drag themselves back into the game as their winless run extended to nine matches.
Edwards continued: "We started the game reasonably well and on the front foot, but unfortunately it's the same old story - we've conceded an early goal and given ourselves a mountain to climb.
"I thought we looked vulnerable in the first half and we didn't really create much going forward. We were better in the second half but Sheffield Wednesday are a good side and they knew how to slow the game down and see it out from 2-0 up.
"Again, it's all of our own doing. You start to sound like a broken record saying the same things over and over again. but we know what's wrong and we're determined to put it right. Obviously it's fine me saying that to the media, but it's inside the dressing room where it needs to happen - it's only us that can show that."
Edwards continued: "We need to be more resolute.
"We need to keep clean sheets and give ourselves that platform to go out and win games.
"At the moment we're creating too much work for ourselves by conceding too frequently. We know that, if you let it, the Championship can eat you up and spit you out.
"Having played in this league for the majority of my career, I firmly believe that if you work hard and win the second balls, things start to happen for you - that's the approach we have to take.”
The Welsh international also said every member of the squad is now playing for their Wolves futures with a new Head Coach in place and the opportunity for him to shuffle his pack when the transfer window opens in January.
"The gaffer has come in and said it is a clean slate for everyone and it's up to us to perform and, if we don't, we know the ambitions of the owners of the club,” he said.
"If we don't produce, we are going to get replaced and we've got to accept that.
"I'm fighting for my shirt, I'm desperate to stay here.
“I'm desperate to earn a new contract and the rest of the boys are the same. How can you not want to play for this club?
"It's not a lack of effort but we've got to start performing otherwise we will be out of the door in January."