Club captain Jason Thomson believes that losing all eight league games against the top two may have cost Raith Rovers their place in the promotion play-offs.
The 2-1 defeat at Tynecastle on Saturday completed a dismal set of results that saw the Kirkcaldy side fail to pick up a single point from a possible 24 against Hearts and Rangers.
We had to do better in those games to get into the play-off places so it’s something we’ll learn from and be a bit more experienced for next season.
While Falkirk fared only slightly better, collecting four points from the same fixtures, Queen of the South, who appear destined to finish fourth, scooped up seven points from the top two, as well as taking nine points from Raith – and that has proved the difference.
“Realistically, there was always going to be one place up for grabs,” Thomson told the Press.
“Queens and Falkirk are both good teams and the league may be finishing the way some people thought it would.
“It’s disappointing that we’re not in and around it at this stage of the season.
“I think with the squad we have we should’ve done better, but for whatever reasons it’s not happened.
“It’s definitely not for the lack of trying but at the end of the day it comes down to the players and there have been performances that haven’t been good enough.
“There’s been a few games where, if we lost an early goal, we were getting on the end of a few hidings. That’s the games we’ve let ourselves down in.
“We’ve beaten most of the teams in and around us, and we’ve done okay against Hibs, but we’ve lost four times to Hearts and Rangers.
“We had to do better in those games to get into the play-off places so it’s something we’ll learn from and be a bit more experienced for next season.”
After playing every minute of every match this season, Thomson is almost certain to remain at Rovers next season as his contract is due for an automatic renewal based on appearances.
“Playing in every game is a bonus, personally, but I think we could’ve done better in the league,” he said.
“It’s now a case of planning for next season and let’s hope for the play-offs because that’s definitely what we’ll be aiming for.”
Rovers still have two games of the current campaign to go starting with Saturday’s final home match against Livingston, and Thomson insists the players will continue to give their all despite having nothing left to play for.
“We don’t want to finish the season on a low,” he said.
“Looking in from the outside, we’ve lost all our games since losing to Falkirk, but I can honestly assure you that everyone is still pulling the same way and trying hard.
“It might be human nature but we’ll definitely be trying to show that we’ve not packed up for our holidays in our last two games. Livvy will be playing to stay in the league so we are going to have to be up for it and make a game of it.”