ATHLETIC skipper Euan Murray admits that the club’s supporters are right to criticise the team after an “embarrassing” derby day horror show.

But he has called on the squad to use fan fury after Tuesday’s woeful 5-1 thrashing at Raith Rovers as a means to come out fighting and turn their fortunes around against league leaders Hearts this weekend.

For the first time this season, Dunfermline have dropped out of the promotion play-off places after their worst Stark’s Park result since a 6-0 mauling in 1983, which came hot-on-the-heels of throwing away a two-goal lead to lose at another top-four rival, Dundee, on Saturday.

While recent results and displays are causing deep concern among the club’s faithful, the “passive” nature of the Kirkcaldy crushing was hard to take and Murray accepts they will have to deal with the flak that comes with it.

Fronting up to speak after the game, the clearly-disappointed 27-year-old said: “I’m not going to try and dress anything up – it was embarrassing to be honest with you. It’s just not good enough.

“We had a gameplan to carry out and we didn’t do it well enough. The goals we gave away are so bad, so basic. To be honest with you, Raith Rovers looked like they wanted it more than us which is, for me, the most worrying thing.

“We’re going to have to learn quick; we’re a young squad, a lot of them are going to have to learn on the job, and try and rectify it.

“It’s done now. It’s certainly going to hurt me; I hope it hurts every single person in that team as it does me, but we go again on Saturday. It’s not going to get any easier for us – teams are going to know that we’re hurting and we’ve taken a couple of bad ones there, and will look to jump on it.

“But, listen, it’s your job. I’m sure we’ll get rightly criticised, which again is something a lot of them will need to learn to deal with. You need to be brave enough to go out there with your shoulders held high again and deal with criticism, deal with that pressure when it’s not going your way.

“It’s going to be a massive learning curve for a lot of them and, as a collective, we need to stick together, go again in training, and we need to try and come up with some results.”

When asked what went so wrong in the match, Murray replied: “Our gameplan was probably similar to what we did at East End, where it worked so well. For me, it was far too passive for a derby game.

“You’re not asking boys to go and put bad tackles in but you need to get closer to folk. I think we gave them too much respect and I think a lot of us were like a rabbit in the headlights in the first half.

“It’s not easy at times when you’re under pressure and under criticism but if you want to play at a club like this, then whether it’s social media or whatever it is, you need to deal with criticism when you don’t win games.

“I know we’ll certainly get a lot of it, and rightly so, after this, but this is the manning up stage for a lot now where we need to go out, play with this pressure and start delivering results like we did earlier on in the season.

“A lot of it is in our own hands so you can’t look at anyone else other than ourselves and, certainly, me as the captain isn’t going to do that.

“I prided myself – and the rest of us did – on having a solid base. I think, the vast majority of the season, we have been but it doesn’t excuse a night like this.

“You need to use that hurt, that criticism, that’s going to come our way and turn it around. Saturday’s not going to be an easy game, it never is against Hearts, but it’s another opportunity, another home game, for us to go out there and get back performing to the way we should be.”