Tommy Wright reckons his players were victims of a perfect storm in the 7-0 hiding from Celtic.
He labelled Neil Lennon’s champions’ opening day performance “sensational” and the St Johnstone manager tagged Hoops hat-trick hero Ryan Christie “unplayable.”
Wright admits his players contributed to their own downfall but he reckons the Parkhead mismatch has to be kept in perspective.
“It was the best I have seen Celtic play in terms of the tempo and quality they produced,” he said.
“Ryan Christie was unplayable at times but we have to bear in mind Celtic spent £20 million on their starting 11 and had £10 million signings on the bench.
“The gulf in class was evident.
“But that doesn’t take away from the fact we should have been better.
“My players have to learn from it and take responsibility for their own performances, then they have to help a teammate.
“There was a lack of cohesion and communication because four or five of their goals could easily have been prevented.”
In recent years Wright has lost the experienced core of his 2014 Scottish Cup winning squad, with stars like Dave Mackay, Frazer Wright, Chris Millar and Steven MacLean departing.
And he has called for his senior pros to handle the fall-out from the weekend defeat and make sure Saints bounce back against Livingston on Saturday.
“There’s no doubt we have lost experienced players and leaders on the pitch over the last couple of years.
“The senior players we have need to do more to help the younger ones. And the younger lads have to stand up and be counted.
“At Celtic there was really only Wallace Duffy and Madis Vehmann making their league debuts.
“I felt there was enough experience on the park to deal with the situation, no matter how good Celtic were.
“We went there with two up top but Michael O’Halloran and Matty Kennedy didn’t have a chance to use their pace. We just lumped the ball rather than pass it.
“Only young Ali McCann showed bravery on the ball.
“I shouldn’t have to look to a 19-year-old for that but he was a massive plus and so was Jason Kerr, who was back to more like the form of last season.
“There were a few promising signs but nowhere near enough to compensate for the fact we took as mauling.
“Collectively they were poor and too many had an off day, which was compounded by a very good Celtic performance. They were sensational.”
While Wright has to offload players to balance the books, he is determined to bring in fresh faces, with Aberdeen centre Stevie May and Notts County striker Kane Hemmings on the radar.
“I am looking to add quality and players who will lead either by voices in the dressing room or by performances on the pitch,” he said.