Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes yesterday apologised for his players’ dire display against Celtic and insisted both he and the supporters deserve better.
The Dons boss offered no excuses for his side’s abject display after they were swept aside by the champions who ran out 4-0 winners at Pittodrie.
All the goals came in the first half of a one-sided encounter and Aberdeen’s miserable afternoon was complete as they ended the game without mustering an attempt on target.
The boos rang out at half-time and full-time among the home support and McInnes knows they deserve better.
He said: “I can only apologise to our supporters. They deserve better than that. I think
I deserve better than that.
“I thought we were awful. After losing the first goal we lacked personality and determination and I felt every time the ball went in our box it was a goal to Celtic.”
McInnes stuck with Greg Leigh and Zak Vyner in central midfield following their fine display in the 3-0 win at Motherwell last weekend but they were unable to match up with the Celtic midfield.
However, the Dons boss insisted: “I felt for Greg and Zak in there. As good as they were last week they were up against three international players and it was difficult to get to grips with them.
“But that wasn’t the big issue. The first goal is awful, just awful. Edouard can amble through and the lack of determination to stop it happening was particularly poor.
“We lost confidence from there and we looked like a team which lacked belief. Celtic, still at their best, we can lose that game but I don’t expect to lose like this. I expect us to let Celtic know we are there.
“I’m not kidded. Celtic eased up in the second half as the job was done. We can’t take Celtic on in a possession-based game but what we can do is let them know they are in a game.
“That was a huge disappointment for me. I was astonished at some of the defending and the goals we lost. It was painful.”
On a day of precious few positives one crumb of comfort was the return of Craig Bryson who came off the bench at half-time.
McInnes hopes he and the returning Lewis Ferguson, who is available for Wednesday’s trip to Hamilton following his ban, can help shore up the side and provide some impetus.
The Dons boss said: “Craig Bryson came on and you could hear him barking instructions. He knows the game and I need his influence on the pitch more.
“Ferguson will help us and Bryson can hopefully come in and help us now. He has not gone into the physio in the last eight or nine days so we are getting some running into him.
“I need players to react in the right way and the only focus is on responding starting with Hamilton.”