Callum Davidson’s message to his St Johnstone players could not be more basic – stop conceding simple goals.
The Saints boss was again exasperated by the way his side conceded so easily in the 2-0 home defeat to Ross County on Saturday.
Davidson’s side are in ninth place in the cinch Premiership, five points clear of the Staggies in the relegation play-off spot with seven fixtures remaining.
Ahead of the trip to Livingston on Saturday, the former St Johnstone defender said: “There is no lack of effort or willingness. But we have to not allow easy goals as we did against Ross County.
“That is the message from me. No simple goals.
“If someone scores from 30 yards into the top corner then sometimes you have to hold your hands up. But no simple goals.
“I watched the game back three or four times, trying to look at little things.
“Watching goals we have conceded in the last eight or nine games, a lot were basic errors. Little things we think we can affect.
“It is tracking runners, reacting quicker to the second contact if you lose the first one.
“A lot of our goals have been really poor. Basic errors.
“If we can nullify that then obviously we have a better chance of winning the game.”
Davidson revealed the “awful” McDiarmid Park pitch will be improved in the summer – and not before time.
Saints have won only three league games in front of their own supporters this season.
He said: “The pitch has been awful. We don’t really like just hoofing the ball forward but it is very difficult to play any patterns of football.
“Unfortunately we have to play on the pitch 20 times this season.
“Other teams are (maybe) just once. I want to play football that is good to watch but I can’t do it on the pitch.
“Hopefully there is a good bit of money spent on it in the summer to make it a decent surface for the majority of the season.
“There is different levels but hopefully it will be a good level they do it to and hopefully we can get some football played on it.”
While he battles to keep St Johnstone in the league, Davidson noted another managerial casualty on Sunday when Robbie Neilson departed Hearts after a 3-0 defeat by St Mirren saw the Jambos drop from third into fourth.
He said: “Disappointed for Robbie but it is the decisions that clubs make at this stage of the season, a lot of clubs go into panic mode.
“Unfortunately managers are the ones to lose their jobs. I thought Robbie did well in the last few years.”