Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell says the Staggies cannot shirk the challenge of overturning their recent poor form.
County are without a win in their last eight Premiership matches, with Saturday’s 2-1 loss to St Mirren leaving them just three points above bottom placed St Johnstone in the table.
The Dingwall outfit’s next task could hardly be more difficult, with champions Celtic the visitors to Victoria Park on Sunday prior to subsequent home games against Hibernian and Kilmarnock.
Kettlewell is demanding a strong reaction to their recent slump, insisting the Staggies have no time to feel sorry for themselves.
Kettlewell said: “There were always going to be tough periods in the Premiership, and as it sits just now we are going through one.
“We want our performances and results to be better. I’ve heard a lot of managers saying it at different levels this season, the only one thing we can do is not go into our shell.
“We need to come out fighting and work harder, continue putting in the best practice we can during the week but ultimately delivering that on a matchday when we are under pressure and scrutiny.
“We can see the players doing it in training, we have to now make sure we can do it in those high-pressure situations.”
County’s winless streak stretches back to their 2-1 away triumph over Motherwell on September 21, which followed a strong start from the Highlanders following their promotion from the Championship last term.
Kettlewell feels the early-season form set the benchmark for the Staggies to reach, adding: “We’re certainly not pushing the panic button. There is no drama here – Ross County are in the Premiership and we have to understand there will be difficult spells.
“It is about the demands we put on ourselves and the levels we want to reach ourselves.
“We’ve already shown we can perform and compete at this level, but what happens over the course of the season is everybody starts to work you out and see what you’re about, therefore they potentially change what they do against you.
“We don’t feel we’ve hit the heights of Hamilton at home or Hearts away, or spells we had against the likes of Hibs, in recent weeks.
“We believe if we can, we’ll be a very competitive team in this league. We still believe we’ll get results.
“That is them stripped back to us, individually and collectively, to make sure we can find those levels again.”