Manager Gary Megson invited two fans into the dressing room to voice their frustrations after Nottingham Forest's dismal 3-0 defeat by Yeovil.
John Enever and Andrew Peel approached Megson and he allowed them to let off some steam after the match.
"We told him it was unacceptable and he said 'I completely agree with you - would you like to tell the players for yourselves?'," Enever told BBC Sport.
"We thought he was calling our bluff, but at the end of the game in we went."
Forest were trailing 2-0 to Yeovil at half-time when Enever and Peel spoke to Megson as he returned to the dugout after the interval.
The pair then followed Megson into the away dressing room and spoke to the players for five minutes.
"He asked us not to make it personal or abusive and we stuck to that. The players were shocked but we tried to keep it constructive," Enever told BBC Sport.
"We said 'the majority of Forest fans genuinely want you and the manager to do well, but that's not going to happen without basic application'.
"Gary Megson phoned me on Monday to thank use for what we'd said. He said he agreed with us 110% and that he would use it as a foundation for the rest of the season."
Forest, European champions in 1979 and 1980, have dropped down the divisions in recent seasons and are currently 11th in League One.
Megson took over last season but was unable to prevent the club's relegation from the Championship.
"I decided to do it because I felt it was important for the players to understand what the supporters are thinking and why they are getting upset," said Megson.
"The supporters didn't rant and rave, they were very eloquent and sensible. The players listened and I didn't disagree with anything they said."