Chris Wilder is challenging his players to react in a positive manner, following Friday's loss at Hull City.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday's trip to Reading, Wilder remarked: "It's up to the players, it is the majority of the time as well.
"We have a big part to play in terms of recruitment, fitness and a lot of aspects that come with putting a side out on the pitch.
"But I won't lose that dressing-room, I'm the biggest supporter of that group of players and the majority of the time I back them and praise them.
"But when they don't deserve it I tell it them and the media how it is, it's pointless me changing my tune to protect myself and the players."
The manager added: "This is how it is and they have to respond to me and deal with how I am. I'm not here to be there best mate and go out for a round of golf with them.
"I want them to get on with their jobs and do it to the best of their ability and when they don't they will be told why and places in the team will be put up for debate.
"I'm a massive supporter of those players, I've signed most of them and I will always back them when they deserve, I always voice my opinion, when it's good or bad."