Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley has urged his team to cut out the mistakes which have contributed to their five-game skid.
The 3-2 defeat to Clyde at the Balmoral Stadium on Saturday was their fifth game in a row without a win and their second straight defeat at home.
David Goodwillie scored two penalties for Clyde either side of a well-taken brace from Mitch Megginson. The game had appeared set for a draw before a late intervention from Mark Lamont, who fired home from the edge of the box.
Hartley said: “We give away two soft penalties because we don’t do the basics well.
“We dive in, go to ground, against an experienced striker in David Goodwillie, who’s one of the best in the league. As soon as you go to ground, you give yourself a problem.
“It’s our mistakes, that’s the problem. It’s a totally different ball game this league. It’s not like it was last year. You’ve got to be on your mettle every game.
“It’s not quite good enough at this moment in time. We’ve got to manage the game better and do the basics as a team.”
Goodwillie’s first penalty came from Connor Scully clipping the striker and he found the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Megginson got Cove back on level terms on 27 minutes with a driving run from the left-hand side, beating David Mitchell at his near post.
His second was even better five minutes later, picking out the top corner from 20 yards after Seb Ross had laid the ball into his path.
Cove shot themselves in the foot again 10 minutes into the second half as Ryan Strachan brought down Goodwillie in the box.
Again, the striker was spot on from the resulting penalty.
The game seemed destined for a draw in the high winds until Lamont – only on the pitch for two minutes – drilled home a loose ball from the edge of the box.
Hartley added: “We had a good start, but we’ve been patchy. We’ve given away three penalties in the last three games.
“Three goals that have also come from distance where we’ve not pressed the ball enough, which is a concern.
“You’ve got to have a bit of honesty from the players.
“Can they do better? Of course they can. I think we all look at ourselves as a staff and the players have to say, what can I do better? How can I help the team?
“You’ve got to stand up and be counted. We’re going through a tough period – this hasn’t happened in Cove’s recent history.
“People have got to realise it quickly as we don’t want to get involved in a battle at the bottom end of the table.”