Sheffield United are “embarrassed” to be bottom of the Premier League and without a win, said midfielder Ben Osborn after the 1-0 defeat by Everton.
The Blades have two points from 15 games this season and are 10 points from a position of safety.
It is the joint-worst start to a season ever by any club in England’s top four leagues.
“It is going to be really, really tough [to stay up]. We just need to get that first win first,” said Osborn.
Southport and Barrow in 1970-71 and Newport County in 1975-76 are the only other sides to have endured such a start, all in the fourth tier of English football.
“The lads are all motivated, we can’t be any more motivated. We are embarrassed to be in this position, records we don’t want, we just need that first result,” Osborn told BT Sport.
“The last few weeks’ performances have been there, we are not lacking motivation we just need to roll our sleeves up and keep going.”
Chris Wilder’s side are the first to reach 26 December without a single Premier League win, but the Sheffield United boss says he would “pack it in” if he thought he could not motivate his players.
“That shouldn’t be my job but the players need to go and express themselves and play with a bit of belief,” he told BBC Sport.
“The same players that played with that momentum and belief from last year are not doing it this year. Nothing has really changed, the league hasn’t changed, Everton haven’t really changed but our team has in terms of the lack of quality we are showing this year.
“I can’t go and play the game for them. One system against the other, we changed it a little bit but for me it is the same again, it is our lack of quality that let us down.
“Good experienced players who have played at this level for a season are not sticking their hand up and making my job easier.”