Gutted Stuart McCall admitted: I’ll walk out on City if we fail to reach the play-offs.

McCall delivered his bombshell after tonight’s 4-1 fiasco at Bournemouth – the fifth successive away loss. He also ruled out their chances of going up automatically.

Having watched his side suffer their third defeat in a week, McCall said: “If we don’t get in the play-offs, I won’t be here in the summer. It’s as simple as that.

"I can’t go through that because it’s killing me. Losing three away games on the trot like this is as low as it’s been this season.

“That’s it for automatic promotion now. The play-offs is what we’re aiming for – we’ve got games against Port Vale and Chester coming up and if we can’t win them then we don’t deserve to be there.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to pick myself up but I know football changes quickly and ten days ago we had just beaten Aldershot 5-0.

“It frustrates me because I know that when we’re on our game, we’re a good squad and we’ve proved that this season. I’ve brought the players in and there are no excuses but confidence is fragile.”

Three of Bournemouth’s goals came from City blunders at the back. They have now leaked 15 in the five away losses since winning at Gillingham – a total contrast to their defensive strength at Valley Parade.

McCall added: “Bournemouth must have thought Christmas had come early – they were absolute howlers. I’ll defend my players to the hilt but individual errors like that don’t give you a chance.

“That’s probably the poorest our captain (Graeme Lee) has played all season. But he’s a good leader and a great character in the dressing room and he will come back.

“Spike was big enough to hold up his hand straight away but it wasn’t just him. If we defend like that for the rest of the season we won’t get in the play-offs.

“I’m not being a quitter. We’ve got eight games to go and I’ve got to lead from the front and demand the best.

“Nobody else is going to get us out of it. It’s down to us to amass as many points as we can to make sure we’re in the play-offs.

“Then we can start dreaming about taking 30,000 down to Wembley. But there’s a long way to go and a lot of points to play for.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. I feel down now but come tomorrow at training I’ve got to get up for the players again and concentrate on Saturday.”