Peterhead boss Jim McInally insists his players can’t go into their shells or they’ll slide towards relegation.
With nine League One games left the Blue Toon sit eighth in the table, just two points above Forfar Athletic in the relegation play-off spot.
At the weekend the Buchan outfit were defeated 3-0 by title-chasing Falkirk.
What particularly angered McInally was a tame first half performance that saw his side fall 2-0 behind by the break.
Scotland’s longest-serving manager has warned his charges that similar showings in the final quarter of the season will result in a slide into the relegation zone.
McInally said: “I don’t want to see a performance like that first half again.
“It was a team that was low on confidence waiting for the opposition to do something.
“I said to the players at half-time, ‘what’s the point in being like that?’
“There’s no point, you have to go out and take part in the game, enjoy the situation we’re in and get out of this situation and then once you get out of it you can pat yourself on the back.
“I said to them that they can’t go into their shell. If you go into your shell you end up in a situation where there’s nothing you can do and it’s too late.
“Don’t fight for two years to get promoted to this league to then throw it away.
“We know it’s a tough league but there’s no reason why we can’t be winning games.
“It’s still as you were at the bottom but we can’t rely on that, we need to go on and do something for ourselves, we can’t always be looking at other results.”
Having taken just four points from eight matches in 2020, McInally knows his team are low on confidence.
But the Balmoor gaffer says the only way spirits will be lifted is if his team can find a way to grind out victories.
He added: “The only way confidence is lifted is to work hard and win matches.
“That’s why the Forfar game (1-1 at Balmoor a fortnight ago) was such a disappointment that we couldn’t hold on.
“Games are coming thick and fast and we’ve got three games next week so we can’t feel sorry for ourselves, we need to get on with it.”