FRASER Duncan was never under any false illusion of the enormity of his challenge to turn Sauchie's miserable season around.

But, in the very slim chance he was, his players gave him a timely reminder of the scale of the task on Saturday as the Reds were fought off the park by Newtongrange Star.

The Premier Division's basement boys fell to a 4-1 defeat as they continue to prop up the rest of the East of Scotland's elite.

A Jordan Wright strike had levelled matters in Dalkeith and Sauchie trialist Darren Gribben missed a penalty, but Duncan had no complaints as his team were duly brushed aside by a hat-trick from Kayne Paterson and late Dylan Tait strike.

Things could have been even worse for Sauchie had Darren Dolan not saved a second half penalty as the positives from their performance against league leaders Bo'ness United were quickly banished to the history books.

Duncan told Advertiser Sport: "We were so poor and looked like a boys club playing against a mens team.

"It was almost like an old-fashioned university team playing against an old-fashioned Junior team.

"That's a big worry and a concern for me as they out fought us in every battle and were far superior.

"Unfortunately for us we can do the pretty side, but I don't think we can do the dirty side and that's a big challenge for me.

"Last week was a honeymoon period because even although we got beat 1-0 we should have taken something from Bo'ness.

"Certainly this week we didn't deserve anything and at times I was scratching my head at how big a task this is going to be.

"That was proved on Saturday."

Duncan has moved quickly to try and address his concerns by bringing in striker Mark Mooney on loan – coincidentally from Bo'ness – and former Sauchie hero Alan Comrie.

But, much like Darren Cummings admitted before, he knows there are players who are not good enough in his dressing room and it is understood at least three were set to be released at training on Tuesday.

Duncan said: "As I said to the boys, I'm not prepared to roll over and just accept defeat and relegation and begin to look forward to next season.

"The team isn't good enough and that is the bottom line. They were told that in no uncertain times.

"What I mean by that is that we don't have the makings of a full team. We are good at somethings, but not all aspects of the game.

"We are great at keeping hold of the ball, but every time it breaks down I am worried we are going to concede."