Midfielder David Kee believes his team must now stand up and be counted after suffering a double dose of agony in successive weeks.
Defeats by the Danske Premiership’s top two - Crusaders and Cliftonville - have left David Healy’s boys playing catch-up. They now trail the title holders by six points.
With a difficult game against game looming against Gary Hamilton’s eye-catching Glenavon at Mourneview Park on Saturday, Kee insists the Blues can’t afford to let that gap widen.
“Crusaders are the most consistent team in the league at the minute that’s why they are at the top, we simply can’t let them pull away any further,” said the 27 year old Castlederg man. “They have already turned us over twice in the campaign.
“We’ve had a couple of poor results of late. We certainly didn’t deserve anything from the Crusaders game at Windsor a fortnight ago, but I though we were unlucky last weekend against the Reds.
“If you want to win games you have to put the ball in the net. We created some big chances in the second half, but failed to take them.
“Andy (Waterworth) hit the crossbar with a header and big Batsey (Guy Bates) had another chance saved by their keeper. Kirk Millar was only inches away from finishing off a Niall Quinn cross.
“But the one chance Cliftonville carved out, they put it away. (Jay) Donnelly was given too much time and space. If you give any forward that amount of time, they’ll punish you.
“Every team is capable of beating the other in this league. There are very fine margins between the teams, but when you don’t convert the chances it tends add to the pressures of winning.”
Kee, who returned to the team last week following injury, insists there will be no margin for error at Mourneview Park.
“Glenavon are another top team . . . they have been in Europe for the past few seasons,” he added. “Gary (Hamilton) has done a fantastic job at the club.
“People keep talking about the fire power of (Eoin) Bradley and (Kevin) Braniff, but they have match winners all over the park.
“I know Braniff has been out injured for the past few games, but the boy (Fabio) O’Brien has come in and has been on the score sheet on a regular basis.
“They’ve also recently signed Daniel Kearns, who we know all about. He trained with us in pre-season . . . he’s a quality player. Glenavon really put it up to us at Windsor earlier in the season. They came back for a 3-1 deficit to pull level.
“Bradley then missed a great chance when he was left in a one-on-one situation with big Ross Glendinning. We finished up nicking the winner, so I’m sure they’ll be still hurting from that.”
Kee insists it’s time to give new boss Healy something to cheer, adding: “It’s never easy when a new man comes in. Davy came in to replace Warren (Feeney). Regardless of who it is - and we’re still basically doing the same things - there’s always going to be a certain amount upheaval.
“Although Andy Todd and Alfie Wylie are still there, it will take David a bit of time.”