GORDON Durie admits that East Fife must now win their remaining fixtures to have a realistic chance of making the promotion play-offs.
The Fifers fell three points behind current fourth-placed side Airdrie at the weekend, after slipping up against Albion Rovers.
Relegation-haunted Rovers put the home side to the sword with two first-half goals during an opening 45 minutes that manager Durie said was simply not good enough.
Speaking to the Mail on Monday, he said: “We were really disappointed with the result.
“We came back at them after half time, but had really let ourselves down in the first 45.
“We told the boys before the game that Albion Rovers were fighting for their lives and would be dangerous, but we just didn’t seem to get started.”
With Airdrie now having secured a three-point gap, and with a better goal difference, the final three games of the season have become crucial.
Stirling visit New Bayview on Saturday knowing a defeat, coupled with results elsewhere going against them, may see them relegated to Division Three.
Then an away visit to Airdrie looms in what may make or break the campaign, before Arbroath, who have already secured at least a play-off place, arrive in Methil on the final day of the season.
“Realistically, we’re now going to have to win our last three games to have any chance of making the play-offs,” conceded the manager.
“But we haven’t been doing too well at home and I’d love to be able to put my finger on why that is.
“It’s something we’re going to have to sit down and think about.
“Stirling, like Albion Rovers, are fighting for their lives now so the players should know after Saturday that this game will not be easy.
“We’ll just have to look after ourselves and not worry about what the other teams are doing.”
David White will return from suspension for the weekend’s fixture, while Andrew Cook is expected to return to training this week and may also feature, meaning the Fifers will have a full squad.