St Andrews United boss Ian Barrett admitted his side had been outworked at Barnetts Park on Saturday by Arniston Rangers.
Saints slipped to a disappointing 4-0 defeat at home, a result which leaves them ten points adrift of pacesetters Sauchie.
Barrett was honest in his assessment of the result.
He said: “Arniston’s players just worked so hard - their workrate was a lot better than ours.
“They wanted it more.
“I know we have the ability because we went seven games undefeated without really playing that great.”
But United can take a welcome break from the league this weekend when they travel to Penicuik in the Fife and Lothians Cup.
The visit to the Super League club, the manager reckons, may give his side a chance to express themselves.
“I’m just hoping the players can relax a bit with it being a cup game against a Super League side,” said the manager.
“There’s a bit less pressure on us.”
On a brighter note, the manager is pleased with a recent piece of business in the transfer market.
Jordan Austin, brother of current Falkirk striker Nathan, has joined the club on loan until January.
“I’ve known Jordan since he was a wee boy,” said Barrett.
“When he played with Leven United he was a real handful and just needs a run of games now.”