Defender Paul Watson admitted that Raith Rovers players felt guilty following the sacking of manager Grant Murray.
Murray was dismissed last week following a 4-0 home reverse against Livingston – the club’s fifth straight defeat – but Watson believes the players are to blame for the poor run of form.
“Of course we feel guilty, it was the players at the end of the day,” Watson told the Press.
“We’re the ones that let the club down.
“As players, you’ve got to look at yourselves and five defeats in a row says it all.
“There was a good performance in there against Hearts, but, as players, we’ve got to take responsibility.
“Everybody was surprised by it but, as players, we have a duty to get on with job.
“It’s a cut-throat business and anything can happen to anyone at any time.
“We’re professional footballers, so you’ve just got to get on with it.”
Laurie Ellis took charge of the team for the final game of the season on Saturday, which saw an improved performance in a 2-2 draw away to Dumbarton.
“It was a game of two halves with that wind,” Watson said. “The first half was just about hanging in there.
“It was a very lucky goal they got – it came off the post, hit Davie, and fell straight into the boy’s path.
“That was disappointing but Laurie got us going for the second half – he was good, and I was happy for him.
“I thought we deserved to win based on the second-half performance but we were just a bit unlucky.”
Watson’s contract runs out at the end of the month and he faces an uncertain future while the club decides on a new manager.
“There’s no manager in at the moment, so I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen,” he said.
“I’m sure it will all sort itself out in a couple of weeks.
“There are a lot of boys out of contract and we’ve no idea who’s going to get the job, so just have to wait and see what happens.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here – it’s been great.
“Whoever comes in, we just just have to sit down and talk.
“It will be down to the new manager to decide who he wants to keep.”
Raith finished the season in sixth place on 43 points, which was a disappointing outcome for the Raith centre-back.
“With the squad of players we’ve got, I think fourth was a realistic target for us,” Watson said.
“We just didn’t perform consistently enough throughout the season.
“We showed it in glimpses, but not often enough.
“We never beat Rangers or Hearts over the eight games.
“It was a difficult league with those teams in there, but I think next season, third or fourth place has got to be the target.”