Motherwell manager Maurice Malpas was fuming after his side were outfought at Dunfermline and lost two players to red cards in the process.
Malpas is now in the thick of the relegation battle
"It was a disappointing night - we were never at the races," he told BBC Sport. "We gave away two cheap early goals and missed a great chance to hit back.
"We're right in the mire now and it will be a big test of character.
"We will be missing important players but we have just got to suck it up and play well on Saturday."
Motherwell are at home to St Mirren at the weekend and will be without Mark Reynolds and Scott McDonald, who were both sent off at East End Park.
Reynolds was dismissed for using an arm to prevent a Dunfermline attack but Malpas said: "I don't think the lad meant it."
McDonald was also given a straight red for a late tackle and Malpas took issue with referee Dougie McDonald's decision.
"Mark Burchill made a shocking tackle on Jim Paterson and only gets a yellow card," added Malpas.
"Scott McDonald makes the same tackle, if it was as bad as that, and gets sent off.
"Now I'm not asking for Mark Burchill to get sent off. I'm just asking the referee to be consistent."
Malpas went on to say that Paterson would probably miss the remaining two games of the season as a result of Burchill's challenge.