Joe Lewis reckons the rest of the Aberdeen team need to take some of the pressure off Sam Cosgrove.
Cosgrove was denied on a couple of occasions in the 3-0 defeat to Hibernian on Saturday, as the Dons fell to a disappointing defeat in the capital.
The result saw Aberdeen drop to fourth behind Motherwell in the Premiership.
In the second half at Easter Road they struggled to test Ofir Marciano and fell apart at the back, with Martin Boyle twice punishing gaps in the Dons defence and Florian Kamberi adding a well-taken third.
Cosgrove has been counted on, since his emergence last season, as Aberdeen’s goal-getter-in-chief, netting 18 in 23 starts. However, Lewis believes the Dons could do more to help him.
He said: “It’s not necessarily the front men – we rely heavily on Sam’s goals and we maybe need to take more responsibility throughout the whole team to alleviate that responsibility from him.
“We needed to show more quality throughout the pitch.
“Defensively we’re naive to let (Florian) Kamberi come in on his right foot from that position. We shouldn’t have done that.
“You don’t want to point the finger at anyone but we need to be better defensively.”
The Dons once again lined up with Zak Vyner in midfield alongside Lewis Ferguson, with Greg Leigh playing wide.
Dean Campbell – left on the bench – was the only other central midfield option, with Craig Bryson and Funso Ojo still out injured.
Lewis added: “They’re important players.
“They’re injured at the moment – there’s no telling they’ll have made a difference. Potentially they would have done, as they’re experienced players. But there’s no point worrying about what you can’t affect.
“It’s the 11 on the pitch that are responsible for our performances and results.”
All three goals came in the second half in Edinburgh. Lewis was required to make one save in the first half from Stevie Mallan, with Marciano denying Cosgrove and James Wilson.
But the difference came after the break, when the Hibees capitalised on their increasing opportunities.
Lewis said: “I don’t think the scoreline is a fair reflection of the game.
“But they put the ball in the net three times – they were clinical.
“Football isn’t about what you do between the 18-yard boxes – it’s what you do in them.
“They had that quality to score goals and we weren’t able to stop that, or cause them enough problems going forward.”
Manager Derek McInnes shifted to three at the back at 1-0 down in a bid to get back into the game, making a triple substitution that saw Ryan Hedges, Campbell and Curtis Main all come on.
Despite this not bearing fruit, McInnes felt his side could have defended better in the build-up to the goals.
McInnes said: “We’re possibly guilty of going for it too early.
“You could see us going 3-4-1-2 tied down their full-backs. We were a body light in the middle of the park as a consequence but we were still getting into good areas. But they were more clinical with their opportunities.
“We’ve wanted more of an attacking threat – we had to force the issue and I still thought it was there to be won.
“I still thought there was something in the game for us if we take our opportunities.
“Big Sam has had three or four opportunities – normally he’s more deadly than that.”
The defeat drops the Dons to fourth in the table, following Motherwell’s 1-0 win over Hearts.
McInnes’ side face Hamilton Accies at Pittodrie next weekend.