Plymouth Argyle coach Shaun Reid says a 'siege mentality' has developed in the face of problems on and off the field.
The club is in administration and apparently no closer to finding a buyer, while the team is adrift at the bottom of the Football League.
"The siege mentality comes into it now - we're in it together, let's get out of it together," Reid, the brother of manager Peter, told BBC Radio Devon.
"We're fighting for our lives and we realise that," Reid added.
He said the continued off-field problems, which has seen the squad size slashed and players not paid fully since last year, has obviously had an effect on the side.
The players threatened to go on strike earlier this month after not being paid, and an agreed wage deferral runs out on Thursday.
"It's affected them," Reid said. "They're down, but they realise that the only way out of it is by playing football."