Elgin City midfielder Ross Draper insists Elgin have to pick themselves up if they want haul themselves up the League Two table.
The Black and Whites remain bottom of the division following a 3-1 defeat at Stranraer on Saturday.
Following the club’s shock Scottish Cup capitulation at Jeanfield Swifts the previous week it has been a difficult period for Barry Smith’s side but Draper believes the squad must regroup.
He said: “We spoke as a group after the Jeanfield result and said we had to move on.
“The performance and result was so bad there was nothing to take away from the game.
“There was no point in dissecting it as none of it was good enough.
“I looked at the eight games we have before Christmas and for me they are all winnable games. We went to Stranraer and it didn’t play out as we’d hoped but we’ve got to belief we can turn it round.
“We have Bonnyrigg at home next week and it’s another opportunity for us but we have to start putting points on the board sooner rather than later.”
‘Penalty was unbelievably soft’
City had a tough afternoon at Stair Park with the loss of an early goal to a soft penalty compounding an already challenging situation with Matty Cooper absent due to illness while goalkeeper Kyle King made his debut after an injury to Thomas McHale in the warm-up.
Stranraer were awarded a penalty in the fourth minute after City defender Blair McKenzie was adjudged to have pushed Stranraer’s Sean McIntosh in the back in the box.
Elgin were stunned by referee Lloyd Wilson’s decision but the official was not for changing his mind and Dylan Forrest stepped up to fire the resulting spot kick past goalkeeper King.
Draper said: “The defending for the second and third goals was so poor and we cannot make any excuses.
“But the penalty decision was really hard to take. With what happened last week we went out with the aim of keeping it tight early on and making sure we don’t concede and early goal, only for the referee to award a penalty against us.
“I’ve watched it back and it’s incredibly soft. I told the referee that at the time.
“I’ve always been the type to accept a referee’s decision whether I agree with it or not. All you want is an explanation of why a decision has been given.
“Bobby Madden was really good in that respect but the ref on Saturday didn’t want to discuss it.
“When you see a penalty given against Blair and then one not given on Robert Jones with five minutes to when it’s blatant it’s hard to take.”
Poor defending cost City dear
King made a terrific save to tip James Dolan’s angled drive from the edge of the box onto the crossbar as the Blues pushed for a second.
Dean Hawkshaw headed Ben Armour’s cross just wide as the home side kept the pressure on the Black and Whites but Stranraer doubled their lead in the 27th minute.
Matty Grant was the scorer, wriggling his way past McKenzie and Mitchell Taylor before forcing the ball under King into the net to make it 2-0.
The visitors’ hopes of getting back into the game were dashed as the Blues made it 3-0 52 seconds into the second half.
Elgin cleared a McIntosh cross as far as Dolan on the edge of the box and the attacker drilled a shot low past King.
Ross MacLeman fired a free kick over the bar as Elgin looked to hit back before former Stranraer striker Robert Jones headed home a corner for his first goal for the club to give the Black and Whites some consolation 14 minutes from time.