Peterhead manager Jim McInally was scathing of his side’s performance after they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Forfar on Saturday.
The Blue Toon boss said it was “a disappointing result and disappointing performance” but added that he had expected it.
“Top players can’t switch it on and off and we certainly aren’t at that level and you won’t get away with it,” he said.
“ That is what happened today and has been the case for a few weeks now.
“It’s natural. I said to them to go and enjoy next Sunday then focus on the next game away to Brechin when it’s back to the nitty gritty.
“If the players think they can go into the play-offs and switch it on again it isn’t going to happen.
“They need to start at Brechin. We don’t need to look after players as they are out of suspension.
“We want to finish second and fortunately for us Ayr also got beat.
“The Rangers game is the biggest game of many of the players’ lives and we need to remember that,” he said.
“We need to keep it in perspective though.
“We have just lost two games in the last 21 and we need to remember who we are.
“We are overachieving. We will spend much of the final chasing the ball because Rangers are probably the worst team we could be facing in that respect.
“The players aren’t deliberately holding themselves back, it’s a subconscious thing.
“That’s why I made some changes and played guys that are trying to get into the side but the way things turned out they have made my decision easy based on today’s display.
“Forfar are fighting for their lives and you couldn’t get more of a contrast in the performances,” he added.
All eyes are now focused on Hampden on Sunday when Peterhead will take on Rangers in the final of the Petrofac Training Challenge Cup.
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