Manager Jim Goodwin has demanded Aberdeen’s flops ‘look at themselves in the mirror’ after a season of failure.
He has told players to conduct an honest self-assessment of their performance during a dismal season for the club.
The Pittodrie gaffer wants them to question if they have done enough.
And Goodwin insists the answer will be ‘no’.
The Dons boss has already conducted his assessment of a squad who condemned Aberdeen to a first bottom six finish since 2013. Many players’ time at Pittodrie will be over end at the end of the campaign as Goodwin undertakes a huge squad rebuild.
Goodwin said: “I’ve asked them to go away and actually have a look at themselves in the mirror.
“They need to ask themselves if what they have given the club this season has been good enough. The fact of the matter is it hasn’t.
“The proof is in where we are sitting in the league table – it is there for everyone to see.
“Unfortunately this group has fallen short this season and we need to do something about it.”
‘Players need to be held accountable’
Goodwin also accepts culpability for the failure to resurrect Aberdeen’s form since his arrival three months ago.
The former St Mirren boss admits he expected a better reaction from the players on taking charge.
He was appointed in mid-February as the replacement for Stephen Glass, who was axed, but there was no ‘new manager bounce’.
Since his Pittodrie arrival, the Dons have won just two of 12 Premiership games, taking 11 points from 36.
Goodwin said: “I take my full share of responsibility for what has happened in the games since I’ve been in.
“The players need to be held accountable, too.
“I said to them after the game that as managers we tend to take the bulk of the responsibility.
“I have no issue with that at all.
“It is our team at the end of the day. It’s our tactics, our training methods that the players are trying to carry out.
“One man has already lost his job at the club this season in Stephen Glass.
“I had hoped I would get a better reaction from the group, but I haven’t been able to do that.”
Accountability… from top to bottom
Aberdeen have failed to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2014.
The Dons also slumped to a 10-game winless run, twice, this season.
He said: “We all need to take accountability for that – from the top right to the bottom.
“We all need to take responsibility for the situation this club is in.
“And we need to make sure that it never happens again.
“We know what we have to do in the summer, the improvements we have to make.
“A number of players will be leaving the club.
“It is up us now, myself, the director of football (Steven Gunn) and head of recruitment (Darren Mowbray) to make sure the players coming in are better than the ones that are leaving.”
The Aberdeen players all care
Aberdeen have won just twice in 21 away games in all domestic competitions this season.
Goodwin insists there can be no question about the players’ commitment.
He says it was poor defending for Saints’ goal and sloppiness in the attacking third which cost them in Perth.
He said: “I’m not going to say the players didn’t care or didn’t give their all – they did.
“We conceded a really poor goal.
“St Johnstone needed a point and as soon as they got their noses in front we knew they were going to put 10, 11 men behind the ball.
“They hit us on the counter attack on a couple of occasions, but we were far too sloppy in the final third.
“That’s what let us down.
“Back to middle we were okay.
“However, the manner of the goal we conceded is what really frustrates me the most.
“We have enough experience back there to be able to deal with that type of ball across the box.
“St Johnstone’s player anticipated it better than we did.”