Kilmarnock midfielder Craig Bryson says his side let manager Jim Jefferies and assistant Billy Brown down in their 2-1 defeat to bottom club Falkirk.
The Bairns saw off Jefferies' side at Rugby Park with a win that closed the gap on their relegation rivals to one point, a result that infuriated the pair.
Killie could have gone seven points clear of the drop zone with a win, but performed badly and were seen off by Ryan Flynn's 58th minute goal.
Bryson admitted his side had missed the opportunity to put daylight between themselves and Falkirk, and said Jefferies and Brown's half-time dressing down was justified.
He told the Daily Record: "The manager and Billy were right to go through us after we lost to Falkirk and we owe them both a big performance after that defeat.
"We just didn't turn up in the second half and it was a bad result. It was a massive game because we could have moved seven points clear of Falkirk.
"But we're only a point above them now and need to start picking up wins soon. If we don't we'll be in real trouble."
Kilmarnock's poor run of form has seen them win one in their last six and they travel to an in-form Dundee United side on Boxing Day.
Three points are desperately required to ease the relegation worries of the Ayrshire club, who have taken just three points on their travels all season.
And Bryson insisted picking up a result at Tannadice was needed to kick start his side's faltering season.
"It's simple, we've got to take something from the Dundee United game," he added.
"We need to kick-start our season, we've been trying to do that but every time we win we then lose the next match.
"We've not been consistent but if we can get a result at United we have to build on it. Christmas is a vital period and we need to move up the table."