HE believes that the season has passed them by but Kallum Higginbotham hopes his time as a Dunfermline player hasn’t.

The 29-year-old, who said that he and his Pars pals must accept responsibility, and that they’d “failed” if they don’t finish in the promotion play-offs, says he would love to extend the “amazing time” he’s had at East End beyond the summer.

Higginbotham, who had permanent or loan spells with nine different clubs before arriving in the summer of 2016, is one of a number of Athletic’s squad whose contracts will expire at the end of the current campaign.

Although he admits that he has “not hit the heights” he is capable of during a season that looks like ending outside the top four, the Salford-born wide man told Press Sport that he would relish the opportunity to try and put that right next term.

“Our aim at the beginning of the season was to get the play-offs and, for Dunfermline not to be in the play-offs, is a massive disappointment,” he said.

“The blame lies solely on the players I believe, and we need to take it on the chin and accept that we’ve just not been able to do it on a consistent basis.

“If we don’t get there, then people will be out of contract and maybe it will be a new squad that then tries to get this club back up to the Premiership, where I truly believe it deserves to be.

“It’s a fantastic club and one that I’ve grown amazing relationships with, and I’m just disappointed that this season looks as if it’s passed us by.

“When you look at the squad, I think there’s only a handful of people who are in contract for next season. The next three games are not going to determine whether you get a contract – I think that’s determined over the season how well you’ve played as an individual – but, if we don’t get the play-offs, I don’t think anyone can go against what the gaffer’s decision is at the end of the season because, ultimately, we’ve failed.

“We’ll see where the next three games take us – there’s still a very slim possibility we could still get the play-offs if Inverness hit a brick wall – and then cross that bridge in terms of contracts.

“Speaking personally, if I was to move on, it would be a club that I’d always keep close to my heart. I’ve had an amazing time since I’ve been here over the past three years.

“It’s not coincidence that this has been the longest club I’ve had in my career; it’s always been one year, or two years, and I move on!

“But I’ve felt right at home at this club, and fingers crossed it can continue. If it doesn’t, then that’s just part and parcel and you’ve got to accept that.”

Higginbotham continued: “I’m an honest guy – that’s one thing you’ll always get from me, is honesty – and I’ve not hit the heights that I have in previous seasons.

“There have been injuries, it’s been a bit stop-start and performances have been erratic. I’m the first person to admit that.

“I think, as a squad, we’ve probably not been good enough this season if we’re being honest with each other.

“All we can do is go into the last three games for three points, and I’ve seen funnier things happen in football than Inverness losing all their remaining games, and us winning our three games.. Until it’s mathematically impossible we’ll keep believing we can get there.”