Raith Rovers captain Jason Thomson is desperate to lead the team to safety and avoid the prospect of job losses at Stark’s Park.
The Kirkcaldy side had a chance to secure their Championship status with a win at St Mirren on Saturday, but after a demoralising 5-0 defeat, they are now staring at the prospect of a relegation play-off unless results go in their favour this weekend.
And with jobs on the line, both on the playing side and in the club office, it was the manner of the defeat which upset Thomson most.
“The whole situation is just totally embarrassing,” he said.
“I was in at the club last week, and it was maybe a bit tongue and cheek from the staff, saying ‘make sure I don’t lose my job’ - but it’s becoming a reality, and it’s not nice.”
Thomson has been at Raith since 2012 and even worked in the club office for a spell as part of a university course earlier this season.
“I know them, I’ve been here a long time and I’ve got relationships with them,” he added.
“It’s livelihoods on the line and I’m certainly aware of that so next Saturday is massive.
“We need to stand up and be counted now.”
Raith should be safe from automatic relegation as bottom club Ayr United would need to win by five goals at Stark’s Park on Saturday to overhaul the Kirkcaldy side.
However, Rovers will only avoid a relegation play-off if they beat the Honest Men, and St Mirren lose at Easter Road on a day when Hibs will be presented with the league trophy.
“It’s a little lifeline that many will say we don’t deserve, but we have it and we’ve got to take it,” Thomson said.
“We need to keep the heads held high and stay positive.”
Raith’s dire display at St Mirren followed a spirited second half performance in the 3-2 defeat to Hibs last Wednesday night but Thomson said the injury-time sickener was not a factor.
“I certainly wouldn’t put it down to that - that’s just making excuses,” he said,
“There’s a number of things – we didn’t get going, we gave away stupid goals, myself included, we never kept the ball well enough, we never worked hard enough, we never won second balls.
“I could keep going on, and it was right through the whole game. It’s just not acceptable.”