Owen Coyle has told his Bolton players to show "guts, desire and hunger" if they are to haul themselves off the bottom of the Premier League table.
Wanderers paid the price for a poor first-half performance in their 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.
Ivan Klasnic's goal paved the way for a better second half performance, but only after Coyle's intervention.
"At half-time I asked for them to show they care for the club in the second half, and they did that," said Coyle.
Marc Albrighton and Stiliyan Petrov set Villa on their way to victory, capitalising on some poor Wanderers defending.
Albrighton was left unmarked to convert Gabriel Agbonlahor's cross and Petrov fired home from 30 yards after the home side failed to close him down.
It was a performance befitting a team with the worst defensive record in the top division, but Bolton were much brighter in the second half and might have snatched a point.
"Disappointment is an understatement, because we were at home and looking to win the game and start moving up the league," Coyle said.
"It is a horrible feeling. I thought the game started evenly with two teams looking quite nervous, but then we conspired towards our own downfall.
"Aston Villa have some very good players, but we made four or five individual mistakes within the first goal - it was self-inflicted.
"Then you are looking for a reaction, for people to show a bit of guts, desire and hunger for the football club. If the truth be told, for a few minutes, they looked as if they felt sorry for themselves, and that allowed Aston Villa to get a second goal.
"[In the second half] it was a much better performance and much more like ourselves. But it is not good enough to just do it for the duration of a second half, it has to be for the entirety of a match."
There was some good news, however, with Coyle confirming the injury that forced Klasnic from the field was not serious.
"We think it is a twisted knee and it is not too serious," Coyle said. "We are pleased about that because he is a goal threat for us.
"We stalled a bit when he went off in the last 10 minutes."