Ayr United manager David Hopkin says the players need to stand up and take account after slumping to a 4-0 defeat to Arbroath on Saturday.

A quick-fire start from the hosts saw Arbroath three goals up within thirty minutes, Dale Hilson then blasted the ball into the bottom left just after the break to complete the rout.

The result moves Ayr down to eighth in the Scottish Championship table, one point clear of Greenock Morton in the relegation play-off place, who have a game in hand on Ayr.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Hopkin said: “The players have to take responsibility. Championship games are all about winning battles whether they are individually or collectively.

“In 20/25 minutes once the game settles down then you can start to play football, but when you are 3-0 down in that time then you have no chance. “

During the loss youngster Mark McKenzie suffered an injury breaking his nose, which will be looked at this week to decide if he can play next weekend.

Hopkin says the fact he played on with the injury shows exactly why the club secured his services with a two-year contract extension last week.

He said: “He’s been a breath of fresh air since coming in from the academy set up and epitomises everything you have to have to survive in this league. His nose was in a bad way at the weekend, and he was still playing on and up challenging for balls, which tells you everything you need to know

“I think the players need to look at Mark what he brings to the team, his enthusiasm and his care for the club, and learn off that to try and get some positives out of the next two games. “

Ayr’s next game is on Saturday against Queen of the South with the Honest Men fighting to stave off the relegation play-off place.

Hopkin said: “It is a must win game, like they all have been, but this one has added spice because we know this is when we have to win.

“The players need to step up and show me and the Ayr fans that they want to be here next season. “