Portadown defender Kyle McVey has admitted they need to "waken up" and start steering the club in the right direction.
Niall Currie's side have struggled to move through the gears in the Bluefin Sport Championship and share second bottom spot with Dergview and Limavady United on 10 points, with Larne five points adrift after nine matches.
Tonight's Bet McLean League Cup clash at Ballymena United is perhaps a welcome distraction to their league struggles, with the pressure very much on David Jeffrey's men to keep hold of the trophy they lifted for the first time in February.
McVey will return to his old club knowing they are underdogs, but the Mid-Ulster men are searching for a spark to light up their season, and a win over the Braidmen might help them spring to life in their mission to return to the top flight.
"This is a tough league, and perhaps some of the players thought it was going to be different, but we will hold our hands up and admit we haven't been good enough and we need to start delivering," said the former Coleraine and Linfield defender.
"We have to dig deep and work harder. The training is intensive but in the matches we have frozen at times and that can't continue.
"Everyone tipped us to gain promotion easily and that talk can go to people's heads, but we've got to go back to basics and understand that teams treat playing us like their cup final and we aren't responding to that.
"I've got a responsibility to help the younger players and I'll look at myself.
"We've got more than one wake-up call, and four defeats in a row in the league is shocking.
"We need a positive result to lift confidence and this Cup game could provide it.
"Ballymena will be determined to retain the trophy but no-one expects us to get a result and hopefully we can spring a surprise.
"Playing them at the Showgrounds takes some of the pressure off us but we've got to stop giving silly goals away to have any chance of winning."