Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes lamented a “horrible” afternoon for the Dons as they were thumped by Ross County.
Aberdeen went down 4-1 in Dingwall, courtesy of goals from Oli Shaw (two), Charlie Lakin and Jermaine Hylton, with an Alex Iacovitti own-goal on the stroke of half-time giving the Dons a route back into the game.
McInnes is also counting the cost of injuries to Ash Taylor and Jonny Hayes, who were substituted during the game, and Ross McCrorie ahead of the game against Motherwell next week.
The Dons boss said: “Ross County kept their front three up and we clearly didn’t deal with that. With the (first) two goals, we have to defend that better.
“We switched to a back four and looked instantly better. I’m disappointed we feel the need to change; we’ve got a system that’s been working for us and I wanted us to impose that on the opposition.
“At both ends of the pitch at the start of the game, we weren’t good enough.
“There’s no doubt about it, Jonny Hayes going off was a real blow for us because he was really prominent. We were guilty again of missing chances – some of the chances we missed at that stage were not good enough.
“I’m as disappointed about the opening period as I am the last 10 minutes. We’ve got two boys leaving on crutches and Ash Taylor coming off injured, so it’s been a horrible afternoon for us.
“Clearly the standard of the team has got to be better in certain situations and hopefully we dust ourselves down for next week and see how we respond from that.”
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“I thought our play was good enough at 2-1 to get that equaliser but it wasn’t to be. You’d have to say, Ross County punished us in the last 10 minutes with the spaces we left at the back.”
Despite just three wins in their last 11 games, Aberdeen are still in fourth, two points behind Hibernian with two games in hand.
McInnes started Scott Wright against County, in the midst of interest from Rangers in the 23-year-old.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has indicated they are keen on the player but as yet, no deal to bring in Wright – who is out of contract at the end of the season – either now or at the end of the season has been concluded.
McInnes added: “As far as I’m concerned, both myself and the chairman have had no further contact from Rangers since the start of the week.
“If they want to work with him for the rest of this season, then clearly it’s got to be a good offer. Until that’s the case, we stay as we are. He’s our player. It will be good if we can get it resolved but if not, we stay as we are.”