Defender Greg Leigh admits Aberdeen failed to show enough pride or fight in the dismal Betfred Cup loss at St Mirren.
And he has challenged the Dons to put that right when they go up against the Buddies again in Paisley in the Premiership on Saturday.
The Dons crashed to a damaging 2-1 loss in the last-16 tie at St Mirren to miss out on a home quarter-final clash with Rangers.
Jamaican international Leigh warned Aberdeen must right the wrong of that disappointing cup exit.
The loss at St Mirren was the third poor away performance in just six days following a 4-0 loss at Rangers and 1-1 draw with Hamilton, the Premiership’s bottom side.
Leigh believes the cup exit is a “kick up the backside” for a depleted Aberdeen side who were outfought and outplayed by St Mirren.
However, despite the dip in form, he refuses to press the panic button, insisting the Dons will bounce back.
Leigh said: “It is important to have that pride and we lacked that in the first half.
“I think the minimum you can ask for is a big amount of effort and commitment to the side, which we didn’t see much of in the first half.
“We saw more of that in the second half performance.
“You can look at excuses like having to play so many away games and some of the guys not playing enough football, but it is just not good enough.
“We started the game slowly, and I don’t know if some thought we would cruise it, or whatever.
“Not everyone’s head was where it should have been.
“Our second half was better, but we didn’t start the game near fast enough.
“I can’t give a reasonable explanation for every single player, but we were just not good enough.
“I think everyone needs to look at that performance.
“I know personally I will look at what I could have done better.
“We also have to look at the team performance and how we are going to play collectively.”
Aberdeen have won only two of their last eight games, drawing three and losing three.
During the run, they have crashed out of two cups having also lost 2-0 to Celtic in the delayed 2019-20 Scottish Cup semi-final on November 1.
Despite that slump in form, Aberdeen remain third in the Premiership table, one point ahead of Hibs and with a game in hand over the Easter Road side.
Asked if the form of Aberdeen was a concern, Leigh said: “It is annoying.
“It is something that we are definitely frustrated with, but I don’t know if it’s concern because we’ve had people out.
“I wouldn’t say concern is the right word at this moment.
‘It’s just a time to put things right and to say ‘we weren’t good enough and that’s the kick up the backside to pull our socks up’.
“We’re playing at St Mirren again on Saturday and we can’t have that same performance.
“We have to turn it round.”
Aberdeen were a goal down after just four minutes at St Mirren with the Buddies hitting the post moments later.
Leigh said: “We were second best, but I don’t think we were hit on our heels as we knew what to expect, that they were going to come out and give it everything.
“We just didn’t match it and that’s not good enough.
“That’s something that’s going to kill you in games if you don’t match the energy of the underdog, the smaller side.
“It killed us because we didn’t match it.”
Leigh has called on the Dons to show their spirit on Saturday to end this winless slump.
He said: “It definitely takes character to turn it around and to get a winning performance when you’ve had three without a win.
‘It’s a time for us to get round each other. We’ve got a full week’s training now and it is not just game after game.
‘With so many away games, it’s been constant travelling.
‘The way we’re going to turn it around to get round each other and work on how we are going to start the next game fast, then maintain that through the game and win.”