Hamilton captain Darian MacKinnon hopes his newer team-mates have learned the hard way that they cannot afford to slack in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Accies suffered a 6-0 defeat against Hibernian earlier this month and MacKinnon pinpointed a lack of effort as the major cause for the thrashing.
The Lanarkshire side were much better last weekend although they ultimately lost 4-1 against Rangers – the scores were level with nine minutes left and two penalty decisions went against Martin Canning’s side.
MacKinnon knows they need to maintain the work-rate on Saturday when they travel to meet a Kilmarnock side who could move three points behind leaders Hearts after coming from behind to win in their last four games.
The midfielder said: “Listen, football is simple, if you put the work in, nine times out of 10 you’ll get a good performance.
“We went to Hibs and we didn’t run hard enough. We saw the running stats, I think it was 70 per cent difference between the Hibs game and Rangers game. So that just tells you, it’s not rocket science, you put the work in and you’ll get your rewards most of the time.
“We’ve got a lot of new players from down south, so that was probably a big, big learning experience for them. People think this is a rubbish league but if you don’t put the graft in, then you’ll get battered.”
The 33-year-old added: “Kilmarnock are one of the teams that put the work in every single week and we need to get to their level.
“We need to be consistent – they are very, very consistent. If they go a goal down they don’t really care, they know they are going to get back in the game.
“We used to be like that and we need to get that sort of mentality back in the squad, and they are a good template to follow.”