Middlesbrough captain George Boateng has called on the dressing room leadership to stand up.
The Teessiders head for in-form Manchester City on Sunday having lost three and drawn one of their last four matches in all competitions, scoring only two goals in the process.
And Boateng says: "This is where you need men, not children out there, you need people who are prepared to have the ball, want the ball and play, even if they make mistakes.
"We all make mistakes but you need men to stand up and be counted and do their jobs.
"You cannot expect in the Premier League, especially if you play away from home, to have maybe eight or six not fully there and prepared to fight.
"That is the hard thing about the Premier League. On the day, you need at least eight or nine players performing at their level week in, week out.
"We win as a team, we lose as a team. You get days when it does not come off and that's when you hope somebody else can carry you to get the team victories."