IAN Murray has called for a rethink of Scotland's "stupid and ridiculous" play-off schedule, saying it "caters" to the bigger teams.
The Airdrie boss, whose side narrowly missed out on a place in the Championship, has called for the lower leagues to be made bigger in a bid to protect players' "physical health", insisting the current set-up doesn't reward clubs for doing well.
Having had just three days to prepare for the first-leg of the play-off semi-final and then tasked with two games in four days, Murray believes the long season caught up with the Diamonds, who had finished 21 points clear of Queen's Park in the regulation season.
Murray said: “There’s a lot of focus on the mental health of players, quite rightly, but sometimes there isn’t enough about their physical health.
“We’ve had to try and win every single game since Christmas to keep up with Cove Rangers at the top, we missed out in the second last week, then we had to get them recovered to go again and the only thing I’d say is that the time they ask us to play such high-pressure, hard games is so stupid, so ridiculous.
“We’ve a whole season to play midweek games in, yet we seem to cater to the team above every single time. The second-bottom Premiership team gets pretty much a week off to prepare for their play-off, but the rest of us don’t get that and for the life of me I don’t know why."
The 41-year-old added: “I don’t know how you avoid a situation like that when the leagues are so small. The one solution would be to make the leagues bigger, because we’ve seen this season how little there is between the bottom end of the Championship and the top of League One.
“It’s time they had a look at that, at promoting and demoting more teams. I mean, you do so well and don’t get rewarded for it."