Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains confident he will be a success at Manchester United and admitted some of his current squad will not be around to see it.
United fell to a humbling 4-0 reverse to Everton at Goodison Park, a fifth successive away loss in all competitions constituting their worst run of such defeats since March 1981.
The defeat was a blow to the Red Devils' hopes of finishing in the Premier League's top four and means they can ill afford to drop points against Manchester City and Chelsea in the coming week.
Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson scored in the first half, and Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott notched after the restart to send Everton up to seventh.
Asked if what he saw in the dressing room after the match showed him the players care enough about playing for United, Solskjaer issued a damning response.
"I don't know. You've got to ask them. I've asked them. You're not going to get the answer from me. Of course, if you want to play at this club it's got to mean more," said Solskjaer.
"I've said it: I want my team to be the hardest-working team in the league. That's what we were under Sir Alex [Ferguson]. That's what we've always been.
"Giggsy [Ryan Giggs], Becks [David Beckham], Gary Neville, Dennis Irwin, whoever. [Regardless of] the talent you've got, you ran more than anyone. Every single week you'd shift up and down that pitch for your team-mates.
"We have to stick together as a team. We can't change the whole squad but it's one step at a time. I'm going to be successful here and there are players there that won't be part of that successful team, but there are many of them that do have it."
United were 11 points adrift of the top four when they sacked Jose Mourinho and appointed Solskjaer in December.
The Norwegian, who also masterminded a run to the Champions League quarter-finals, praised the players for their improvements but suggested a number of factors could be behind their run of two wins in eight matches in all competitions.
"We were two points ahead of Everton when I came so I wasn't under any illusions that we could win the league or challenge for the top two or top three," said Solskjaer.
"If you look at the table just before Christmas and look at the table now, yes, we're still in the same position but the amount of points we've taken, that's down to the players. Credit to the players.
"Maybe it's caught up with us, going through in the Champions League, as you're alluding to as well we're not fit enough maybe, because we don't run enough, or does it not mean enough?
"In the end, players will know it has to mean everything for you to play at this club, like it does for the fans. They travelled all the way here and sang for 90 minutes plus and that's everything."