IT WOULD be forgivable for Alloa's belief to wither after they fell to the bottom of the Championship table ahead of a crucial Christmas period.

But, this is a squad which has has made a habit of proving the doubters wrong just at the moment the last rites have been called for and Alan Trouten is sure they can do so again.

The veteran striker knows three wins from their opening 16 games – incidentally, one more than this time last season – is the sort of form which could prove critical to their Championship survival.

The next month, with games against the likes of Partick Thistle and Greenock Morton to come, will be key and Trouten says the squad maintain the belief they can claw their way out of the relegation mire.

"We have only won three games and it's nearly Christmas," Trouten told Advertiser Sport. "That's not good enough.

"These are massive games coming up and we are now bottom of the league with Thistle winning.

"People gives us plaudits for the way we play football at times but we need to win games of football, which is what we are here to do.

"We need to go to Ayr United [on Saturday] with confidence and although they beat us last time and were by far the better team we need to be better and more clinical.

"Most weeks we are conceding two goals and in no way am I blaming the goalie or defenders who have been magnificent.

"It's as a team we need to defend much better from the front.

"We need to keep that belief and it's one of the first times we've been bottom of the league this season.

"That won't affect this group who have got faith in our ability but it is a massive game at Ayr on Saturday."

The Wasps were unfortunate to fall to defeat at Dundee United with the league leaders eventually breaking down their stubborn resistance.

A Mark Reynolds own goal put Alloa ahead only for Nicky Clark to equalise on the stroke of half-time and Louis Appere to nab a winner.

Trouten, 34, continued: "It was disappointing but I do think that's the belief we have in the squad to go to places like Tannadice and be disappointed in a defeat.

"We worked on a shape the gaffer wanted to play which was differently to what we normally do.

"We didn't have a lot of the ball and they had a lot of set-pieces and Jamie [MacDonald] was magnificent.

"We got the goal and I think things could have been different had we held on until half-time but losing the equaliser so late was a big blow.

"That changed their team talk at half-time. If they went in 1-0 down and with the crowd here and it being a big club with big expectations it would have been a different game in the second-half.

"The majority of the goals we are losing at the moment can be prevented. But, in the second one and it is hard for the referee to see, there's a clear foul and the boy pulls him back.