Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna says “real leaders” need to come forward on the pitch after the rout against Celtic.
The Dons crashed 4-0 to the table toppers on Sunday, conceding all four goals before the break.
It was a dire, stand-offish and confused display and Scotland international McKenna says there will be an inquest before tomorrow’s trip to Hamilton.
One of the points of order, according to the stopper, is to work out why none of the Dons players “took control” during the hammering.
He said: “We’ll be looking at it.
“It’s the first time I’ve been three or four-nil down at half-time in a game before and had nothing about us – no character, no leadership on the pitch – it was disappointing.
“There are leaders in the dressing room, but no one showed it on Sunday.
“It’s all well and good doing it when we’re playing good football and two or three goals up, but it’s days like Sunday you need real leaders to step up and take control of the game. That didn’t happen.
“I like to think I could be one (of those leaders).
“But I was nowhere near it on Sunday and at fault for a couple of the goals. I can’t sit here and say anything about anyone else.”
McKenna – who was sent the wrong way as Odsonne Edouard ran through to net the Hoops opener – was at pains to explain why the Reds were so insipid coming off the back of an optimism-building win at in-form Motherwell.
He said: “There’s not much we can say about it.
“We were miles off it and no way near good enough, we pretty much just let Celtic do what they wanted.
“Every single one of the goals was soft. We were far too passive, no one made a tackle and we’ve only got ourselves to blame.
“We cannot look at anyone else. If you’re in a team as a defender you need to put a foot in and make challenges when you’re called upon and we didn’t do that.
“None of us were aggressive enough or seemed sharp enough.
“Celtic got too much time. Edouard, (Tom) Rogic, (James) Forrest, (Callum) McGregor all got too much time.”
McKenna admitted the Aberdeen dressing room wasn’t a nice place to be at the break.
Boss McInnes made two changes for the second half, taking off wingers Connor McLennan and Niall McGinn for James Wilson and fit-again Craig Bryson.
The experienced Bryson in centre-midfield offered a semblance of leadership in the second period as the Hoops took their foot of the pedal. The makeshift midfield of defenders Zak Vyner and Greg Leigh had been overrun in the first 45 minutes.
McKenna described half-time as “very flat”.
He said: “Obviously the manager spoke most of the time.
“He was just trying to get some sort of reaction out of us for the second half to stop the bleeding a wee bit, because there was no way we were getting back in the game from there.
“We can only apologise (to the fans), whether they want to listen or not.
“It’s not good enough and we’re all aware of that.
“We’ve gone from the highs of last week, scoring three good goals, to being 3-0 down very quickly and 4-0 down before half-time. We can only apologise.
“I know it’s said all the time in football, but the next game’s coming quick and we can only try to put it behind us.”
McKenna’s disbelief was compounded by the fact Aberdeen had a week to prepare for the Premiership leaders’ visit, while the Hoops had taken on Lazio in the Europa League on Thursday.
He added: “We had a good week’s training and an extra day than Celtic during the week – everything was leaning in our favour.”
McKenna knows it’s imperative Aberdeen work out why they played the way they did to give them something to take into tomorrow’s clash with Hamilton – with nine points in the next three games against Accies, Kilmarnock and Ross County his aim.
The Reds are now fifth in the division and he said: “We need to (have an open conversation). There’s no point in talking about each other behind each other’s backs. It needs to be in a group and constructive.
“We’re all aware it isn’t good enough. We need to find the answers – why weren’t we aggressive? Why weren’t we pressing when we were meant to be? Why were we too deep?
“The only good thing is we’ve got a match tomorrow.
“We’ve got three games before the international break. The only way we can recover from Sunday is to take nine points out of nine.”