St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright insists bad decision making from his players was a key factor in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Livingston.
The Perth side’s barren winless run stretched to nine games after the visitors offered little resistance in attempting to protect captain Joe Shaughnessy’s 14th-minute strike.
Lions skipper Craig Halkett levelled seven minutes before the break when he headed in Alan Lithgow’s cross before Craig Sibbald nodded home a Scott Robinson delivery 42 seconds after the restart.
After Saints substitute Tony Watt wasted a gilt-edged chance in the 89th minute, the home side secured the victory in stoppage time when Scott Pittman added a third.
Wright was disappointed with the ease of which Livingston were able to breach his side’s defence.
He said: “At 1-0 I thought we were the better side and could have gone two up, but we’ve been done by a long throw where we don’t deal with the second ball.
“And then the second goal has come straight from our kick-off. We’ve given the ball away three times. We’ve made three bad decisions where we should have gone long.
“We lose the ball and don’t stop the cross.
“Five minutes before half time we were comfortable, five minutes after the break and we’re chasing the game.
“With the third goal we got caught in trying to go forward and again we make the wrong decision, or dwell on the ball and they break and score.
“But the second goal is the killer for me and again it’s down to wrong decision making at that time in the game.”
Wright, whose side are now four points adrift of the Ladbrokes Premiership top six ahead of next weekend’s visit of St Mirren, said: “We have to pick ourselves up and go next week again.”
Livingston are a point further back in ninth place but are effectively safe in the top-flight after moving 19 points clear of relegation zone.
Lions manager Gary Holt, however, is refusing to accept that it is mission accomplished.
He said: “We were relegation favourites at the start of the season and it is not a naivety or negative to think like that.
“We don’t want to focus on being safe already and the season peters out because a malaise sets in.
“We can still get top six and still catch the teams above us and that is our aim.
“I ain’t gonna stand here and say we are safe until it is mathematical possible.”