Harry Kewell has warned his Notts County players that any lapses in effort and concentration could mean being offloaded in January.
The Australian oversaw a five-game unbeaten run of two draws and three wins but the upturn in form gave way to three straight defeats.
Speaking after the 2-1 loss to Swindon Town, where the Magpies took the lead only to be pegged back and eventually beaten, the manager suggested that he had to "scare" his players into form.
“If they don’t want to play my style, they don’t want to work hard and don’t want to fight then January is just around the corner," Kewell told the Nottingham Post.
“Swindon maybe had a third of the game and what we were doing in the first half, we stopped in the second. I don’t know why.
“We knew their only danger was Matty Taylor crossing the ball, which we stopped in the first half, but we then allowed him to do it three or four times in the second.
“That becomes laziness so they must be tired and can’t play to my level. That means we look and make sure we have players who want to do that.”