STEVIE CRAWFORD insists that Dunfermline won’t give up on their play-off bid until it is mathematically impossible.

However, the Pars head coach has conceded that finishing in the top four looks unlikely as they face having to make up an eight-point gap with just four games to go.

After a run of five successive wins, which propelled them into fourth place, a run of one point from the last 12 available has resulted in them dropping to fifth place behind Scottish Cup semi-finalists Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Athletic missed the chance to reduce the deficit after losing their game in hand to Ross County on Tuesday night but, while he acknowledged achieving a Premiership play-off quarter-final slot “is going to be difficult”, he says he won’t allow his players to let their season fizzle out.

“We are eight points behind Inverness and there are four games to go, so until it is mathematically possible, we’ll never give up the ghost and we have to look to try and climb the league and catch Inverness.

“We have to try and get points on the board.

“From the last two performances, there are no signs of the players just trying to see the season out. They know they are at a club in Dunfermline where the demands are on them.”

Crawford, meanwhile, has vowed to give Joe Thomson his full support after revealing that the midfielder will be out of action for a “considerable period of time”.

The 22-year-old confirmed on social media at the weekend that he would miss the remainder of the season after suffering a tear in his anterior cruciate ligament in last month’s home defeat to Ayr United, tweeting: “Absolutely gutted my season is over through a tear in my ACL. However, fully focused on getting back as quick and strong as possible for the new season.”

He is expected to have an operation in the coming weeks, and Crawford added: “Joe has done his cruciate and will be out for a considerable period of time.

“It is disappointing because the energy and enthusiasm that he has brought to the team, in a difficult season, has been excellent.

“He’s a very positive kid. He comes in and is energetic and lively, but he knows where’s he at with it now.

“We’ll make sure that, as a coaching staff, we do everything we can to support him.”