Hearts Ladies manager Grant Scott fears his side are starting to run out of time if they are to turn around their form and retain their Scottish Women’s Premier League status.
The Jambos currently sit ninth in the league table, four points from safety, and on the back of three straight defeats against their bottom six rivals.
Tomorrow they face resurgent city rivals Hutchison Vale at Kings Park, Dalkeith (kick-off 2pm) knowing defeat would allow their opponents to leapfrog them.
Scott said: “Recent results have been tough to take and it’s meant that we’ve had to regroup, work harder than ever in training and ensure we stick to our game plan.
“We’ve had three bad results back-to-back for the first time and the girls need to show they are strong mentally to overcome it.
“Defeat would make it [survival] more difficult; it won’t mean our fight is over, but it would start to look a long road back.”
Elsewhere, Hibs Ladies boss Chris Roberts praised the job Debbi McCulloch has done at Spartans in recent years and insists they will have a hard time replacing her.
The two clubs meet tomorrow at Ainslie Park (kick-off 1pm) in one of McCulloch’s final fixtures in charge as she prepares to step down at the end of the season.
“Sometimes the manager’s position has a shelf-life but only Debbie will know if that’s the case.
“She has been there a long time and has been a terrific servant to the club over the years,” said Roberts.