Paul Lawson felt the Formartine United coaching staff were as much to blame as the players for their disappointing Scottish Cup exit.
The Pitmedden outfit were comfortably beaten 4-0 at home to East Kilbride, with three goals in the second half putting paid to their hopes of progression in the competition.
Formartine are also left sweating on the fitness of Gary McGowan, who was stretchered off in the second half and taken to hospital via ambulance.
McGowan was taken off shortly after Kilby scored their fourth goal of the afternoon, following a challenge with the visitors’ defender David Brownlie.
Lawson, in his third season in charge, felt his team’s performance fell well short of their expectations.
Lawson said: “We let ourselves down collectively and I include the coaching team in that as well as we are all a group together.
“So we are as much to blame.
“It was disappointing from start to finish. They got a lift from getting the first goal but we still came in at half time just one goal down and not having played well.
“With 45 minutes to go we could have had a go but we lost the second goal right at the start of the half and when you go up 2-0 the game becomes easier as you find the extra yard of space and pace.
“We were pushing on to try to get back into the game when we lost the other two goals but it came back to not having that little bit of quality in the final third of the pitch.”
The task of reviving their inconsistent Highland League form gets no easier next weekend, as they travel to high-flying Fraserburgh.
They do have three games in hand on the top four but are already 11 points behind fourth-placed Buckie Thistle.
Ruari Paton put Kilby in the lead in the first half and the Lowland League side held the advantage at the interval.
Three minutes into the second half Anton Brady drove the visitors further ahead, before Graeme Holmes grabbed the third with a calm finish just before the hour mark.
Paton rounded off the scoring with 15 minutes to go, tapping in Dan Carmichael’s cross to put East Kilbride into round four.
Kilby boss Jim Paterson said: “We did our homework on Formartine. We had them watched a few times and we warned the boys they would be a physical side.”