The repercussions from a shocking defeat to the Premiership’s bottom club will reverberate long beyond the welcome full-time whistle.
As if the dismal manner of Aberdeen’s 4-1 defeat at Ross County wasn’t bad enough, three players picked up injuries.
Jonny Hayes and Ross McCrorie left the Global Energy Stadium on crutches, with Ash Taylor taken off after 30 minutes.
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes fears the worst for Hayes and McCrorie and faces a nervous wait to hear the extent of their injuries.
McCrorie was sent to hospital immediately after full-time for a scan on an ankle injury.
The injuries compounded a miserable afternoon for the Dons, who were porous defensively and spurned chances in front of goal.
McInnes said: “Hopefully the injuries aren’t too bad, but we fear the worst with those two. They are a real concern.
“We will see how they play out through the week, but certainly losing those two players for any period of time would be disappointing.
“Ross went for an X-ray on an ankle injury that doesn’t look great at all.
“He has a real issue with his ankle going on to the bottom of his leg. He was struggling and couldn’t move for the last 10 minutes.
“However, we had used all our subs and couldn’t have any more stoppages after the injuries to Ash and Jonny.”
McCrorie battled through the pain barrier and Hayes and Taylor both had to be substituted.
McInnes said: “Jonny going off was a real blow as he was really prominent for us.
“He rolled his ankle and we will have to see how that is for us.
“Ash’s back went into a spasm in the opening period and he was clearly struggling to move.
“Ash has a better chance of recovering, but it was clearly an issue for him.”
Aberdeen fell behind after only 38 seconds to a team that were propping up the table prior to kick-off. It got even worse when Ross County made it 2-0 after 20 minutes to pile the pressure on.
McInnes said: “We are disappointed, as we should be far better than that and it was a horrible afternoon for us.
“The opening period was clearly not good enough. It doesn’t matter if you are favourite or underdog, it is important you start properly.
“It is clear the pitch was tricky and it needed us to be playing with a lot more savvy and look after the ball in possession, and to certainly be far more aggressive with our work.
“I am disappointed in how we started the game and disappointed in the last 10 minutes.”
Derek McInnes: It would be good to get Scott Wright situation resolved
McInnes started Rangers transfer target Scott Wright in Dingwall.
Rangers have informed the Reds they aim to secure Wright on a pre-contract agreement, but it understood the Gers are keen on fast tracking that to take Wright to Ibrox during the transfer window.
Wright is out of contract at the end of the season and has been free to talk to any interested clubs since the January window opened.
McInnes insists there has been no further contact from Gers since that initial approach last week. Ideally McInnes wants the uncertainty over Wright resolved one way or another.
He said: “Both myself and the chairman have heard no other contact from Rangers since the start of the week.
“They have made it clear Scott is a player they want to work with next season.
“If they want to work with him for the rest of the season, it is clear it has got to be a good offer for us.
“Until that is the case we stay as we are as he is our player.
“It would be good if we could get it resolved, but if not then we stay as we are.”