St Mirren manager Gary Teale claimed his side need to stop being bullied if they are to avoid relegation after he watched his team lose 2-0 away to St Johnstone.
Brian Graham and Steven Anderson scored either side of half-time, but it could have been a bigger score-line had the Perth men taken more of their plentiful chances.
"I feel over the past couple of weeks we've competed well, but today we got bullied right from the start to the finish," Teale told BBC Scotland.
"St Johnstone thoroughly deserved their victory and there's nothing I can take positive-wise from the game, and we just need to move on."
The result leaves St Mirren four points adrift at the bottom of the table with closest challengers Motherwell, Ross County and Partick Thistle all posting wins this weekend.
"I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board and maybe give players who will give us more energy and a wee bit more drive [a chance]," said Teale.
"Maybe a wee bit more freedom in there as well. The apprehension they've got obviously with the position we've got in the league, maybe a couple of the younger ones can come in and freshen it up.
"We need to stand up now. I'm really hurting inside and I hope they're hurting inside because we've got a responsibility, we owe it to all the fans coming up here as well, they travel everywhere.
"We owe them performances and we owe them hard work and today was just not acceptable."
St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright was happy to help strengthen their grip on a top-six place, especially on the back of last week's defeat by Partick Thistle.
He said: "We fully deserved the victory and it was a good response after last week.
"I think the league's been really exciting this year, everybody's got something to play for, that win goes a long way. It's a good win, it opens up a little bit of a gap.
"We've got Hamilton next, if we get a positive result there we won't be too far away. If we're in the top six we can kick on and try and get the team above us.
"To get to the top six, for a club our size and the resources we have, four seasons in a row would be a terrific achievement."