LEE ASHCROFT is hoping that Athletic’s away form can be the catalyst to turn their season around – but admits they “need to get the fingers out”.

The Pars skipper insists that the squad are just as frustrated with their stuttering start to the campaign as the supporters, who made their feelings known following Saturday’s home defeat to Dundee United.

Centre back Ashcroft, 25, was honest enough to admit afterwards that collecting just four points from six home matches – scoring just twice in the process – has fallen below expectations and knows it us up to him and his team-mates to turn it around.

Dunfermline, however, produced a much more encouraging display at Inverness on Tuesday night in a hard-fought 2-2 draw, and face another match on the road on Saturday when they make the short trip to Alloa.

“Over the last couple of weeks, the result haven’t been great, but I feel as if, especially against Queens and Alloa, we should’ve won the game,” Ashcroft commented.

“I think Saturday is probably the first time that I don’t think we deserved to win. I think they were the better side and we need to make sure we pick ourselves up because that’s not good enough.

“When you lose the first goal, confidence can go in a lot of boys, but we need to stick together. It’s only us that can put it right.

“I understand the fans are frustrated; there’s nobody more frustrated than us ourselves, and the backroom staff as well, so we need to get our fingers out and put this right.

“It’s about sticking together as a team. When somebody makes a mistake, it’s about pulling them out of jail – I think that’s a big part of it.

“When you go on a good run, there’s boys bailing you out and stuff when players are making mistakes, but in the last couple of weeks it’s not worked out like that.

“We’re the group of players that’s playing for the team, so we know we need to put it right.”

Although their attacking play, and overall performance, was much improved in the Highland capital, Athletic conceded two goals that boss Allan Johnston said that they “should have done better” with.

Having had the league’s best defensive record last term, in which they conceded just 35 goals, Dunfermline have let in 18 in 11 matches, alongside Partick Thistle and Morton, with only Falkirk faring worse.

Ashcroft added: “Recently, we’ve lost some sloppy goals and we need to stop that happening

“It’s good that the games come thick and fast. I think our form away from home has been better recently as well so we can hopefully take a bit of confidence (from that).

“If we pick up a couple of results, it can change quick. That’s what we’re looking to do because it’s not been good enough from ourselves recently.”