East Fife’s players have been challenged to show they’re just as hurt by their current run of form as manager Gary Naysmith is.
The Fifers are without a win in eight games following Saturday’s 5-0 loss at home to Ayr United.
The defeat left the Methil side three points from the safety of eighth place and just one point above bottom dogs Arbroath.
The games don’t get any easier for East Fife with a trip to Kingdom rivals Dunfermline scheduled for the weekend.
The Pars know that just a few more points will see them wrap up second place.
Naysmith told the Mail he’s just as frustrated by the club’s lack of wins as the fans.
He said: “The players need to hurt as much as I’m hurting.
“I’ve defended them when we’ve had defeats and given them praise when they’ve done well.
“But against Ayr they just didn’t turn up.”
Naysmith saidt the players shouldn’t expect an easy ride as the season begins to reach a conclusion and he’d be pushing to get every ounce out of them to steer East Fife to safety.
“They’ll be in three nights to train this week,” said the boss.
“You can’t turn in a performance like that at any level and expect to be given days off , so they’ll be in an extra day and will be working hard.
“A lot of them will also be involved in the reserve game this week.”
The manager has a pretty extensive injury list which added Joe Mbu and David Cowan to its number before the Ayr game.
“It’s not something that I’m going to speak too much of because I still think we had a good enough team on the pitch to get a result,” said the boss.
“We just need to be close as a group.”
Mbu and Cowan join Ross Brown, Gary Fisher and Scott McBride on the sidelines.