Some Motherwell players should "hang their heads in shame" following the departure of manager Ian Baraclough, says owner Les Hutchison.
The Fir Park club parted company with Baraclough, 44, on Wednesday with the Steelmen third bottom of the Scottish Premiership and out of the League Cup.
"It's shocking but they have to stand up now," Hutchison said.
Captain Keith Lasley said the squad "should look at ourselves in the mirror".
Hutchison told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound: told "There's a few that really need to hang their head in shame today that a fine a young man has gone down the road to see his wife and family.
"It's an extremely sad day. Motherwell has never been a club that has hired and fired people; that's just not the way things are done.
"We have been extremely disappointed with the series of results over the last weeks and at some point one has to bring it to a conclusion.
"Despite me being overseas, I see video footage of all the games, read reports on all the games and have discussions with the general manager, Alan Burrows, and frequent communication with Ian."
|Motherwell under Baraclough|
|Ian Baraclough was in charge for 34 matches||They won 12, drew 5 and lost 17|
|The Fir Park side finished second bottom of the Premiership last season||They retained their top-flight status by beating Rangers 6-1 on aggregate in the play-off final|
|This term, Motherwell have won two games in the league||Defeat by Greenock Morton ended their interest in the League Cup|
Baraclough was appointed in December 2014 with Motherwell third from bottom in the Premiership, but helped them avoid relegation in the play-offs.
However, they have taken only seven points out of 24 in the league this season.
Hutchison said: "I don't think it diminishes Ian's position because he got us through the play-offs extremely successfully and the club will forever be indebted to him for that.
"In the space of a few months, it was a significant achievement. He was given as long as he was because of that."
Hutchison claimed Motherwell have "a wealth of talent" in their squad, but said there was "clear evidence over a number of weeks" that some players were not performing.
"Something has to change," he said. "After several discussions with Ian, we decided that the best thing to do was to ask him to move on.
"But we do need a fresh situation in the dressing room, to change the mood, to change the climate and really get some of these players to play to their potential.
"Speaking to the senior players in the group, speaking to the coaching staff, they are confident there's enough people in the dressing room to get the job done."
Captain Keith Lasley told Sportsround: "We understand it's a results-led business but it's never nice when it happens.
"It's up to us now as players to stand up and be counted. That starts on Saturday against Partick Thistle.
"The reality is we're not performing to the way we know we're capable of.
"Unfortunately, the manager's now lost his job over that but it's us that go out on the park. It's that XI or whoever gets selected to go out on the park that has to do the business.
"No matter who the manager is, it's a poor reflection on us as a group of players.
"We've got to look forward now. We still feel confident we've got the ability in there. It's just we've got to drag it out of ourselves and drag it out of each other because it's not been good enough."