Gary Holt has told his Livingston players it is time they stopped making excuses for themselves.
The Lions boss saw his team push Aberdeen close at Pittodrie only to come away with a 2-1 defeat.
Holt knows there are some – and perhaps even within his own dressing room – who think that is not a bad result given the budgets available to the two sides. But that is not the level of ambition he wants to see from his team.
Instead, Holt would rather they went out chasing the win at home to Hibernian on Sunday – a result which would see Livi finish 2019 in the top six.
He told the PA news agency: “Thursday is probably as good as we’ve played at Pittodrie since I took over.
“But I said to the boys after, we’ve got to get away from saying after a game like that, ‘Oh 2-1 isn’t a bad result’.
“That’s nonsense and we’ve got to stop doing that. We need to strive and be more ambitious.
“Whether it’s the mentality side of things or when we’re away from home, I don’t think we’re as positive individually as we should be until we get a slap in the face.
“That’s something we have to get over quickly. We were well within the game against Aberdeen yesterday but we need to take more responsibility individually to make things happen in attack and defence.
“Too often we just wait for something to happen. That will come with more experience.
“Just look at Aberdeen; they are a well-oiled machine. When the score went to 2-1 they shut the game down. They were clever and killed it dead, whereas we’re still naive at this level.
“Of course I have the ambition of wanting to take the team as high as I can. We have a chance on Sunday against a Hibs team that is playing really well to end the year in the top six, which would be a phenomenal achievement.
“But we need to get away from this habit of giving ourselves an excuse for why we don’t get results.”