Dundee United captain Fraser Fyvie admits the 5-0 humiliation they suffered at the hands of Ayr United is a serious wake-up call.
The Tangerines were absolutely hammered by the Championship leaders in front of a 6,000-plus crowd at Tannadice on Friday night, with striker Lawrence Shankland stealing the show with four of his team’s five goals.
It was one of United’s worst losses in living memory and all the more devastating because it came on the back of an excellent unbeaten run under boss Robbie Neilson.
The gap in quality between their side and the Honest Men left those who witnessed the game fearing United will fall short in the promotion race for the third season in a row.
Skipper Fyvie, who himself got hassled and harried all night by the Ayr midfield, admitted the Tangerines had been left hurting by the result.
Asked if it was a wake-up call after the players had been lauded for their form running up to Friday, he said: “Yes it is.
“We had been on a good run but we have been brought straight back down to earth and it hurts.
“It was a really bad night for us as a team and it wasn’t good enough from every single one of us on the pitch.
“I don’t think one player can hold their hand up and say: ‘I was good.’
“All the boys know that.
“We had a long chat in the dressing room and we will sit down again and look at it as a team.
“We obviously have to watch the full game back but we know that not just some things but a lot of things went wrong.
“I think as a whole team we had a game plan but when they scored first so early it hurt us, especially being at home, and we had to come out a wee bit more to try to get a goal back.
“Obviously, we were far too open from front to back or back to front, whatever way you want to put it.
“I mean no disrespect to Ayr because their game plan went brilliantly and their front two were fantastic.
“They had energy all the way through their team to supply their front two and Shankland…to score four speaks for itself.
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“As players we know within ourselves that we were nowhere near it.
“We were miles off it.
“They had more energy, more power and were more physical than us all over the pitch.
“From one to 11, they were better than us.”
Next up for United is a trip to Greenock on Saturday to play Morton so Fyvie knows they must make a fast recovery.
He said: “We will need to move forward quickly from this.
“We definitely need to learn from it.
“We all have to take what comes now right on the chin. We are going to get a lot of flak this week.
“We know that and we deserve that because of how we performed.
“It does hurt when you get a defeat like that and especially so when it is in front of your own supporters, who have been fantastic.”