Manager Jim McIntyre knows Ross County’s beating in Aberdeen on Saturday looked bad and felt bad.
But McIntyre was quick to separate the positives from the negatives as he turned focus on the break from the league he hopes can spark County’s season.
Arriving on the back of five straight league defeats, McIntyre has been powerless to prevent that run stretching to seven.
Embracing the challenge of turning the sequence around, though, was never likely to be an overnight job.
What might have disheartened him this early in his Dingwall career was if there was a lack of spirit evident in County ranks but Saturday’s display proved otherwise.
McIntyre said: “Against Aberdeen, there were definitely positives. Jackson Irvine and Rocco Quinn were excellent and showed a real energy and appetite.
“With the goalscoring opportunities we created, we could have scored three or four goals. Rocco could have had a double and Jacko might have had a header.
“That was the real plus side, but Aberdeen deserved to win and could have scored more themselves, there’s no getting away from that.
“When we go to places such as Pittodrie, we need to make sure we start the game well and defend well.
“We switched off for the two set plays and before you knew it we were 2-0 down. They had their tails up and, with the way result have gone this season, it took us five or 10 minutes to get going again.
“I can understand that, but the reaction from the players impressed again – they never gave in and kept going even after a poor third goal after the break. It would be easy to fold, but they never did. They created a lot themselves.
“So there were positives. We did some things well but where we didn’t do so well was the defensive part of it.”
County have been creating more opportunities under the new regime and the manager feels the onus is on his men to take the game to Hibs tonight.
He said: “We like to attack, get the ball forward and make sure we put the opposition goalkeeper under threat. Like any team dropping into the Championship, Hibs are taking a bit of time to find their feet. It’s a difficult league where teams work extremely hard.
“They will view the game the same as us. The season hasn’t started the way they wanted and they’ll look at it as a break from the league campaign and a chance to progress into the next round of the cup.
“I’ve had them watched and they have good players, capable of hurting teams. For one reason or another it has not quite clicked for them yet in certain games.
“It has in others, we have to be wary of that. We’re the home team and it is up to us to take the game to them, which we will.
“We’ve got to look at it as an opportunity to spark our season – look to win the game and get some confidence out of it.”
County’s one fresh injury concern is defender Scott Boyd who took a dead leg against the Dons on Saturday.