Gerard Lyttle is refusing to throw in the towel despite watching Cliftonville’s season swerve into the mire in recent weeks.
The Reds have lost three of their last four fixtures, including last week’s Irish Cup collapse against Linfield.
The 3-0 reverse was compounded with the late dismissals of goalkeeper Conor Devlin and defender Caoimhin Bonner.
It leaves Lyttle’s side with the Premiership to focus on – they currently sit third and three points behind an automatic European spot.
“We have to build some momentum again. We don’t throw the towel in,” Lyttle said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Dungannon Swifts.
“I am asking the players questions and they need to come up with the answers.
“Qualifying for Europe is massive for the club, so we have to try and earn that.
“There are also 10 or 11 players coming out of contract, so they have to prove they deserve to be here next season.”
Reflecting on last week’s red mist against the Blues, Lyttle added: “Players have to act responsibly on the pitch. It is not acceptable.
“The players who step over the line will be dealt with.
“I expect more from Conor, he is a professional person and he should act that way.
“Caoimhin pulled the boy down and he got a second booking. He is an old-fashioned defender and puts his head where it hurts. He made a late tackle in the first half, and then he gets sent off when the game is over.”