Chris Wilder insists winless Sheffield United have some “light at the end of the tunnel” in their uphill battle to beat the drop.
United have endured the worst start to a campaign in Premier League history and remain rock bottom having suffered 12 defeats from their opening 14 fixtures.
The South Yorkshire club picked up only their second point of a miserable season so far thanks to Sunday’s 1-1 draw at fellow strugglers Brighton.
Blades boss Wilder was encouraged by the performance against the Seagulls – as well as during Thursday evening’s 3-2 loss to Manchester United – and believes his players are proving their determination to scrap for survival.
“That question will obviously be asked about us and I understand that because of the position we’re in,” Wilder said of the desire among his squad.
“All we can do is go and try and show what we’re about, which I think we have done over the last two games.
“I’m disappointed we’ve only got one point from a home game against Manchester United and an away game against a talented, established Premier League club.
“If we don’t show that right attitude, we’re toast – we understand that, so it won’t happen.
“At least there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel after the last two games.”
The battling Blades overcame the 40th-minute dismissal of midfielder John Lundstram to go ahead at the Amex Stadium through Premier League debutant Jayden Bogle.
However, their lengthy wait for victory continues courtesy of Danny Welbeck’s 87th-minute equaliser.
With the January transfer window just around the corner, Wilder anticipates no major changes and admits his players must persevere with the same approach which brought a surprise ninth-placed finish as a newly-promoted side in the 2019-20 campaign.
“I don’t see another avenue that we can go down,” said Wilder.
“It is this way – and this is the only way. Nothing’s going to happen in January that’s head-turning; we’ve got no incredible players to come back into the team, so it is what it is.
“And, for me, it’s the only avenue we can go down in terms of trying to get something from this season.”
Brighton are just two points above the relegation zone after their unconvincing form continued.
Albion have won only one of their previous 12 league fixtures and found the net just eight times in their last 10 outings.
Seagulls boss Graham Potter is confident the goals will come for his struggling side, including four-goal top scorer Neal Maupay, who is on an eight-game drought.
“It’s part of football, sometimes you miss chances, you don’t create as much” said Potter.
“It’s an area we want to keep improving in. But I think the goals will come. I believe in the players.
“The hardest thing in the game to do is to score and that’s why we have to keep supporting the players we have to make them feel they can.”
Speaking about Frenchman Maupay, he added: “If you look at all the top strikers, they go through phases where it doesn’t happen for them, for whatever reason.
“It’s Neal’s second season in the Premier League, he’s constantly trying to improve, constantly trying to do his work for the team.”