Mark Roberts admits his job is under threat after Ayr sunk deeper into trouble with a Boxing Day bashing by fellow strugglers Albion Rovers.
The 2-0 defeat in Coatbridge — Ayr’s fourth in a row — leaves toiling United only three points off rock bottom, currently occupied by Rovers.
Now they face back-to-back home games against the top two — Alloa on Saturday and Queen of the South on Wednesday, January 2.
Roberts exchanged words with an irate fan as the teams left the pitch at Cliftonhill on Wednesday.
He admitted: “I know the fans are frustrated but I can guarantee I’m more frustrated than them.
“It’s my livelihood that’s on the line. If things don’t improve, it could be curtains for me.”
The player-boss added: “These guys will go on websites and forums and say what they like but I’ve got to come back, get these players on top of their game and get out of this position.”
Roberts reckoned Ayr were in control in the first 25 minutes but claimed: “They then go and score a wonder goal.
“I felt the second half was much the same. We were well on top but couldn’t get a goal. When they got their second, it was game over.
“I thought we should have had three penalties in the second half. There was one where Darren McGill got barged, David Winters got barged and I think there was one other.
“But we didn’t deserve to win. The bottom line is we have been beaten 2-0 by Albion Rovers and that’s not good enough for Ayr United. We don’t have a God-given right to win at places like this. But with the players we have, we’re capable of doing better.”
Roberts admits his squad is massively under achieving and now face a battle to stay in the Second Division.
He said: “The guys in there know what I think and this is certainly not acceptable.
“If they didn’t know before the game, they know now that we are in a relegation battle. The quicker we realise that, the better.
“I have belief in the guys but they are not giving us enough just now. They aren’t giving the club enough, me enough or themselves enough.
“The harsh reality is that we are in a relegation fight. I think we will get out of this, but this is where we are.”
Ayr now have a home double and urgently need to halt the slide that has sent them tumbling into danger .
They are only two points above second bottom Stranraer, who they visit on January 5.
But with no depth to his squad, Roberts doesn’t have the personnel to make wholesale changes.
●Ayr are 8/5 to beat Alloa, who are 6/5. McBookie.com make the draw 5/2.
United haven’t lost at Somerset Park to Alloa for six years in a run stretching back seven games.
Ayr to end 2012 with a half-time/full-time win is 7/2.