NIALL Keown says that the Partick Thistle players need to toughen up mentally and use the thumping at the hands of Morton as a wake-up call to save their season.

The defender was helpless to prevent the mauling at Cappielow, with the home side running riot to score five times against a sorry Jags outfit.

Keown admits that the way his side folded is a concern, but he is certain that new manager Gary Caldwell can get a reaction from his squad in time to salvage their Championship campaign.

"The performance on Saturday was in no way acceptable," Keown said.

"The goals we lost were awful, and it does suggest that there may have been a weak mentality in the side to go under like that in the face of adversity.

"That is something that has probably seeped in since the downturn in form last season which led to relegation, but it has to stop now.

"The Morton game is gone and we need to realise that every aspect of our game has to improve from this moment on.

"The manager was tough on the team after the game, but he was spot on. I don't expect praise after a performance like that, and there is a recognition here that we are all playing for our futures.

"There are usually changes anyway when a new manager comes in, but there is a heck of a lot of time between now and January, and a lot of football to be played.

"To be honest, all we are thinking about is getting as many points for the team and the club between now and then rather than worrying about our own futures.

"The bigger picture of going for promotion will take care of itself, but right now, it's all about the next game and making sure we get back on track."

The defeat was the third in as many games since new boss Caldwell took the reins, but Keown is at a loss to explain what is going wrong between training and matchday.

"We are all really enjoying the training under the new manager," he said.

"It always takes time when you are looking to implement new ideas, but there is a real freshness to what we are doing.

"There is no reason why what we are doing on the training field isn't translating into what we are doing on a Saturday, but we have to make sure that it does, and fast."