Ryan Strachan reckons Cove Rangers need to adapt to their pitch troubles away from home.
The League 2 leaders have conceded 26 of their 30 league goals on the road this season, shipping another three on a bobbly pitch at Borough Briggs on Saturday.
Cove conceded six at Annan at the end of November and have let in six in two visits to Cliftonhill against Albion Rovers this campaign.
Manager Paul Hartley spoke to the Cove players about the issue after the defeat to Elgin City on Saturday, in which they conceded at the start of both halves.
Strachan is demanding an improvement to that troubling statistic, which contrasts to their excellent home form in which they have conceded in just three games.
He said: “There were stupid errors for goals on a difficult surface. We had a chat – when pitches and weather conditions aren’t favourable, we’re struggling away from home just now.
“The manager touched on it. We’ve conceded 30 goals, 26 of them have been away from home. It’s something we need to look at.
“Whether it’s a change of shape or personnel to be a bit more solid away, I don’t know. But we’ll certainly work on it.
“It seems to be (the pitches). We went to Albion Rovers – it was dried out, it was horrible. If everyone watches us at home, it’s a strong, expansive footballing team. We dominate games. But away from home we’re conceding silly goals.
“We’ve conceded four at Albion Rovers (early in the season), two at Albion Rovers, six at Annan, three at the weekend. The list goes on. I’m not paid to be the manager but I can’t get my head round why, if it is the pitches but that’s what I seem to think it is.”
Defeat on Saturday cut Cove’s lead at the top of the table to three points, with nearest challengers Edinburgh City winning 3-0 at home to Annan Athletic.
City return to the Balmoral Stadium this weekend – where they were beaten 5-0 on the opening day of the season – in a battle of the league’s top two.
Strachan added: “It’s a chance to get home again. We’ll train Tuesday and Thursday for the match. It’s a big one but win, lose or draw, it’s not over.
“We’re still in a good position. We’re still three points ahead. Saturday was upsetting but we’ll prepare all week for Saturday.”