Ross County defender Paul Quinn has warned his side can have no excuses for the Highland derby defeat by Caley Thistle on Saturday.
Inverness rained on the County League Cup parade with a 3-0 win at Victoria Park with goals from Liam Polworth, Ross Draper and Miles Storey.
It could all have been so different had the Staggies taken early chances but Quinn knows his side can have no complaints.
He said: “We could use being tired, struggling with illness or injury as an excuse but if I sit and read someone saying that in the paper I think less of them.
“We didn’t perform well enough for a large enough spell in the game. The last 45 to 55 minutes wasn’t good enough and we know that. That was the reason we lost – we’ve let ourselves and our supporters down.
“We can only dust ourselves down and go again as this still has the makings of being a very good season.
“The league is our bread and butter. The game was topsy-turvy but, in the end, we were beaten convincingly.”
County’s energy levels dropped dramatically after Storey’s terrific long-range shot to put Caley Jags 3-0 up at Dingwall and Quinn believes the international break will give his team-mates a much-needed rest before they try to secure a top six place.
He said: “We need to regroup and refocus as it has been a difficult week mentally, physically and emotionally. These results happen. Inverness capitalised on our mistakes and we couldn’t get back into the game.
“The break has come at a good time for us as we have a lot of players who need a few days of a shutdown and this break can be a refocus for us.”
After their defeat the Staggies players and management took to the streets of Dingwall to parade the League Cup before their home support and Quinn was adamant the loss did not detract from the club’s momentous achievement at Hampden a week ago.
He said: “Given the emotion of the last couple of weeks, having the chance to sit back and take it all in is a good thing and this result hasn’t spoiled the celebrations.
“We’re hurting and will hurt for a couple of days but the people here warranted a celebration and we gave them that.
“We enjoyed our celebrations and rightfully so as we won a cup but we’ll be back to business after the break.”