Fife Flyers coach Todd Dutiaume says his message that "hard work beats talent" is not getting through to his team after they lost 3-2 to biggest rivals Glasgow Clan.
Saturday's defeat left them with just three wins in 11.
"It's a work ethic problem for us," said Dutiaume.
Clan followed up that win with a 6-3 success over Sheffield Steelers, while but Dundee Stars lose to both Cardiff Devils and Nottingham Panthers.
It didn't seem that long ago Fife were flying the flag at the top of the Elite League table.
While the Kirkcaldy side are still fourth in the table, inconsistent form has hampered their hopes of doing a 'Leicester' in football terms and Dutiaume knows why.
"I'm a little ticked off that we got the crowd we've been begging for for the last month, but come out with a lacklustre performance," he said after Saturday's loss to Clan.
"We were far from perfect in the third period, but had more oomph and it's a work ethic problem for us.
"You come up against these teams that outwork you, it will beat talent and I'm finding it difficult that this message isn't getting through.
"We're missing two big workhorses in Chase Schaber and Evan Bloodoff and teams are jumping on that and we need a boost to our line-up.
"The next three games are going to be mirror images of the game against Glasgow and we have to be prepared for all of them."
Joe Basaraba gave the Flyers the perfect start with the opening goal, but it was cancelled out by Rasmus Bjerrum before Scott Tanski put Glasgow in front.
Another from Bjerrum effectively sealed the victory for the visitors and while Basaraba bookended the scoring with Fife's second, it wasn't to be their night.
Clan's rise continues
Glasgow made it four straight wins on Sunday night with a comprehensive home 6-3 win over Sheffield Steelers as they fought their way into the top half of the table.
Craig Peacock, Bjerrum, with his third of the weekend and doubles from Brendan Connolly and Matt Beca made it a happy Christmas for Pete Russell and his team.
Dundee Stars had to go to Cardiff Devils on Saturday as they looked to continue their recent resurgent form, but got nothing from the champions in a 4-2 defeat.
Omar Pacha's side were three down, before they start to claw their way back as Charles Corcoran and François Bouchard netted to close the gap to one. Devils later added a fourth.
They returned home to take on Nottingham Panthers and the long trip back seemed to take its toll as Panthers ran out 3-0 winners on Tayside.
Dylan Richard, Tim Billingsley and Luke Pither all scored as Stars slumped to a third defeat in their last four games.
Stats of the week
- It's the first time Glasgow Clan have won four in a row since just over a year ago when they got as many as five wins on the trot.
- Fife Flyers played their 200th home league game in the Elite League since joining the league in 2011 against Glasgow Clan on Saturday.