ROVERS remain deep in the relegation mire after a shocking 2-1 defeat at the hands of bottom of the table Torquay United on Saturday.

The Gulls had lost their last four games and look destined for the drop into the Conference.

As a result even the most pessimistic of Gasheads expected us to beat our lowly opponents to secure three vital points, enabling us to reach the 50-point mark which usually spells safety.

Unfortunately the players had not read the script and froze on the day, producing a gutless performance lacking in any desire or passion.

Some nerves on the day are understandable but supporters cannot stomach watching an inept display when the stakes are so high and the players are paid to perform.

Rovers only seemed to realise the urgency of the situation with 10 minutes of the match to go, but Woodards’ 90th minute goal was too little, too late.

Clarke rightly told his players it was not good enough and needs a positive reaction from them with four crucial games left to save our league status.

Northampton’s victory has left the Pirates just one point away from the dreaded drop zone, in 21st place.

Fans were frustrated and furious at Saturday’s capitulation and demand better from the remaining fixtures.

Clarke needs to justify the board’s decision to put him in the hotseat by rallying the troops and ensuring the team perform at a far higher standard than we witnessed on Saturday.

The players need to win back the fans by showing pride and passion from the first minute of every game left to give us the best possible chance of survival.

A win and a draw from the remaining fixtures should be enough to keep us up but the Easter games already look foreboding.

Saturday’s trip to a resurgent Portsmouth is bound to be tricky, particularly with our dreadful away form, while Monday’s home game against second-placed Rochdale will also be tough.

But a win from one of those games is essential to ease the pressure and restore hope that we will still be in League Two next season.