Cape Town - Aston Villa players' pride will see them climb up the Premier League table, caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald said while admitting the squad is low on confidence.
Villa, who have lost eight of their last nine league games, sit bottom of the table and their poor form this season cost manager Tim Sherwood his job on Sunday.
MacDonald failed to find a way to stop the club's slump as he saw his side get knocked out of the League Cup in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to Southampton in his first game in charge.
"It's hard for the players too because players never want to see managers lose their job. I don't care what anyone says," MacDonald told reporters after the game.
"Players are playing professional sport because they want to be the best they can be. They have inner pride.
"At the moment they are a little bit low. But they will come through it and hopefully we will progress up the league."
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has his eyes set on lifting the League Cup and said the scoreline was kind on their struggling opponents.
"It was a pity the 2-1, but okay, the most important is to get to the next round and we knew that," Koeman told reporters.
"The most important is to reach the quarter-finals. We know it's difficult but one of the ambitions of the club is winning a title," he added.