On-loan defender Zak Vyner insists Aberdeen deserved to be slaughtered by critics for the 5-0 loss at Rangers.
He expected the backlash and when it inevitably came swift and hard from pundits and supporters, he was surprised at how vehement the digs were.
Although only two months into his loan spell, Vyner has been at Pittodrie long enough to realise a performance as woeful as Ibrox will not be tolerated.
The Bristol City defender reckons anyone who believes it was acceptable is “delusional”.
For Vyner what was particularly galling about the record loss under boss Derek McInnes was the lack of fight in a match where they never laid a glove on Gers.
After a period of soul searching at Pittodrie, some honest assessment of what went wrong against Rangers, the Reds are ready to put things right.
For Bristol City’s Vyner that begins against Hibs today.
The 22-year-old said: “The criticism was not nice but it was warranted as it was not good enough.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion but some of it was tough to take.
“We knew it would be coming and we just have to dust ourselves down.
“We have to focus internally on what we can do to change it and stick together as a team.
“For us it is not like we are delusional to it – we know it wasn’t good enough and the manager knows it wasn’t good enough. He told us that.
“We also told ourselves that.
“The result was not an Aberdeen performance and we will put that right against Hibs.”
Only the strong showing of keeper Joe Lewis kept the scoreline down at Ibrox.
Was a key factor the lack of fight and aggression?
Vyner said: “I think it was. I wouldn’t say we respected them too much but we never laid a glove on them.
“We should have been tighter in areas and more compact in areas and been a bit more aggressive.
“We should have had a right go but we weren’t at the races.
“If anyone thinks that was acceptable on Saturday they are delusional.
“We know that we have to be better and show a bit of fight and character.
“That is what we can do as we have shown it in previous games this season.”
The shock and disappointment of the Rangers mauling was still raw when the squad reported back for duty at Pittodrie on Monday. There followed a frank assessment of what went wrong before the focus turned to Hibs.
Vyner said: “We had a meeting on it (Rangers loss) and on what we want to do going forward.
“We have to put what the gaffer said to us into fruition now and put that result right.
“Monday was a bit of a downer and we had to pick ourselves up.
“On Tuesday we tried to focus on the Hibs game at the weekend.
“We have to go out and put that result right and prove we can go and win.”
The heavy defeat by Rangers was an excruciating 90 minutes for the Red Army.
But it could be an early indication of further, sustained frustration ahead.
On the basis of that loss and the spending power of Rangers and Celtic, who outlaid millions on strengthening their squads in the summer, it appears the Glasgow two will dominate the Premiership race again.
Just seven games in and Aberdeen look to be battling it out with the others for third spot. Where should the Reds’ targets lie for this season?
Vyner said: “It is difficult to say as it is very early.
“Some of the performances we have put in this season would suggest that we should aim high.
“The result at Rangers was obviously a blow.
“Due to the expectations at the club and the expectations we have among ourselves, when we are sat in fourth two points off third it is still a disappointment.
“We want to keep pushing and we want to get as high as we can.
“A good result against Hibs can help kick-start that.”
Signed on a season-long loan from Championship side City, Vyner has primarily been utilised as a right-back.
However, he had to slot in at centre-back at short notice against Rangers following the late withdrawal of Andy Considine due to gastroenteritis.
He was struck with illness on the morning of the game and ruled out three hours before kick-off.
Considine became the eighth player unavailable for Ibrox with seven already ruled out by injury.
Vyner said: “Losing Andy was a blow as he pulled out on the morning.
“To be honest we didn’t know when he was going to be available or not.
“I approached the game with the same mentality. Whether I was on the bench or not I was going into the game with the right mindset to play and to be at the races.
“It doesn’t matter if it was the last minute I was being told I was going to play at centre half, I prepared the same way.”