Defender Mikey Devlin admits there are no excuses for Aberdeen’s heaviest defeat under manager Derek McInnes.
The Dons had eight players unavailable through injury and illness but for Devlin the “abysmal” performance in losing 5-0 at Rangers cannot be blamed on that.
He revealed there will be a week of soul searching and questions where individual players, and the squad, must “look themselves in the mirror” and take responsibility for the shocker.
Injuries, fatigue after extra-time against Hearts just days before, travelling to three successive away games in a week …
Devlin, 25, offers up no excuses as he believes only an honest assessment can help them recover and move forward for Saturday’s clash with Hibs.
He said: “As players we all have to look at ourselves in the mirror and take responsibility for what was an abysmal performance.
“There is a certain level of performance expected by the manager, the supporters and the club.
“We were never even close to that. Okay, we were playing a good team but we had a good team and good players out there.
“Not enough of us did the basics right and that is what hurts the most and will hurt the supporters the most – that the basics weren’t there.
“Basics when you come to places like Ibrox and Parkhead are that you fight, get close, make tackles and stop people from playing.
“Fundamentals in football that you need to set about doing when representing the club, the city and supporters
“We didn’t do that anywhere near enough. We were miles off doing that.”
Aberdeen suffered the heaviest defeat since a 5-0 loss to Hearts away in December 2010.
Only the heroics of keeper Joe Lewis, who produced a succession of vital saves, prevented the defeat being more embarrassing.
Devlin said: “I don’t want to make any excuse.
“Excuses are not going to help us as a team get over something like that and try to learn from it.
“That wasn’t good enough. That is the bottom line.
“Going to Ibrox is such an important fixture for the club.
“The fans came again in great numbers and last year we gave them something to cheer about at Ibrox. However, this one was shocking at times.
“We tried to use the fact we’re not in the strongest condition and the cup game the other night to galvanise us but it never happened.
“It’s not ideal that we’re missing key players and losing Andy Considine, who has been such a crucial player this season, was a blow. But there were still players here who I thought could cause an upset.
“There were enough players out there who were here last year.
“Now we need to pick ourselves up for a big game against Hibs.”
The post mortem into the Ibrox debacle will be conducted by the Dons this week. Devlin believes there must first be self-assessment before the squad meet to sift through the ashes of the loss.
Devlin said: “It was 5-0 but it could have been worse and we all need to take a look at ourselves.
“We are going to analyse where we went wrong which can take a while.
“We will certainly need to be better and work ever so hard over the coming week to make sure we put this result right.
“The manager spoke after the game and made us well aware it was not good enough for the club. At times in the game you look for character and personality and I am not sure there was too much of that at times.
“That is the most disappointing thing.
“The appetite to get after them was missing, we barely made a tackle, gave them too much space, lost poor goals.
“As a squad we need to have a look at ourselves individually before we start chatting to each other and about each other.
“We have a good dressing room and we all have to look individually at ourselves and how we have been performing.
“That starts with myself. I will look at myself and know I have to do better. There is no getting away from that.
“Over the next week we will all do that and make sure whoever is selected will take the game to Hibs.”
Devlin insists manager Derek McInnes should be spared of the blame as they crashed to the heaviest defeat of his reign.
The centre-back believes the players were entirely culpable for the loss.
He said: “This has nothing to do with the manager. It’s the players who have to take responsibility for what they gave out there.
“There are 11 players on the pitch who have to take responsibility for that.
“The manager set us out, gave us tasks. He asks us to do the basics and represent the shirt of this club and we didn’t do that.”