Jonny Hayes accepts he has work to do to regain the trust of Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes.
Hayes was one of eight Aberdeen players who broke government guidelines by socialising together at an Aberdeen bar just hours after losing 1-0 against Rangers on August 1.
Michael Devlin, Scott McKenna, Craig Bryson, Dylan McGeouch, Sam Cosgrove, Bruce Anderson, Matty Kennedy and Hayes made a public apology on Saturday.
The Aberdeen venue they visited, Soul, has been linked to a spike in Covid-19 cases which has forced the city to be placed back into a local lockdown.
Two of the Dons players have tested positive for Covid-19, while the other six are self-isolating and will miss Wednesday’s match against Hamilton and Saturday’s trip to Celtic.
The managers and captains of every Scottish Premiership side must attend a Zoom call with national clinical director Jason Leitch today where they will be reminded of their responsibilities.
Hayes admits he and his seven teammates have let manager McInnes down.
He said: “I have never played for a manager that has his players’ back as much as the gaffer.
“The overriding emotion is that we have let people down.
“I think you can tell from his interview that he feels let down. We have let him down as well as the club and the fans.
“We need to repair a bit of trust between ourselves and the manager.”
The 33-year-old, who has deferred his wages for a year to help the Dons deal with the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, admitted he should have avoided going out following the defeat by Rangers.
He said: “I should have known better having been up here before.
“You work so hard to keep yourself mentally and physically right for months during lockdown and pre-season.
“It was a build-up to a massive game for us and it turned out to be a let-down.
“Let’s not beat around the bush, the players simply didn’t perform on the day.
“I came home and watched the game again. When I was sat there watching it, I thought I needed to take my mind off it.
“That is me being genuine. I couldn’t sit there in the house watching the game when we had underperformed on the day.
“Watching it back just reinforced my opinions about the game.
“I know people will talk about losing to Rangers and it not being acceptable (to go out). It was a human error, I’m not trying to defend players’ actions. Sometimes you take your eye off the ball.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing. We shouldn’t have went for dinner, we shouldn’t have went to the bar.
“It wasn’t a team night out or anything like that, there were a few players there and we went home early. There were lads driving and not drinking. It wasn’t what it was made it out to be but looking back it was a mistake.
“There was a group of seven households together. We did not know that was unacceptable and that is being genuine.
“This was before Aberdeen went into a mini-lockdown. We didn’t go out intentionally to do something wrong.
“That was never the case. We just didn’t know. We thought we were considered as one household.
“We should have known better.
“Not making excuses, but losing to Rangers on the opening day of the season was an anti-climax after four or five months of preparation from the time that football went into lockdown.
“There was a lot of hard work went on behind the scenes so to lose and not perform felt like a huge let-down.”
The former Celtic player accepts their actions have put the rest of his teammates who weren’t out in a difficult position for their upcoming fixtures.
He said: “We are isolating and keeping ourselves apart but it has been tough on the other players who weren’t involved as well.
“That was another reason as a smaller group of players to come out and make a formal apology because it has been tough on our teammates.
“People are sat at home not knowing who has Covid and who hasn’t.
“Our teammates have been supportive, they know a mistake has been made.
“It is not as though we are one group and they are another group, we want to support them by coming out so people know we are the ones who made a mistake.
“It is not fair to tarnish the whole squad with one brush.
“At the minute we can’t really do much but apologise and accept our punishment.
“We have to make it up to, not just the Aberdeen fans, but Scottish football in general.
“If anything positive comes from this, it is that we and the rest of Scottish football will stick to the guidelines more strictly.
“They are there for a reason. We know we have some making up to do.
“The best sort of making up we can do is on the pitch but unfortunately it is going to be a while before we can do that.”