Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald conceded that his players simply were not up to the task after losing 2-0 against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.
Second half goals from Nicky Low and Niall McGinn gave the Dons a comfortable win in a fast-paced Premiership encounter.
"We didn't do enough to stop Aberdeen playing," said Archibald.
"Our ball retention was poor and we didn't move it about enough. We didn't ask enough questions of Aberdeen."
The defeat was Thistle's second in a row after four league matches played, leaving the Glasgow side in the bottom half of the table with only four points.
Archibald insisted he cautioned his players against the deep style of football to expect and that Aberdeen would pose a threat from midfield, but was critical of his side's lack of motivation to shut down the Dons attack.
"It happened to us up here the last time, there was a couple of stunning strikes," said Archibald.
"The boys were warned before the game, we had a couple of warnings but we didn't put enough pressure on the ball.
"We know they're good players who can strike the ball from distance, and we let them do that."
The Premiership makes room for international football over the next week and Archibald felt it would have been better to have taken the time out with a win from the trip to Pittodrie, but acknowledged that Aberdeen had outperformed his players on the day.
"We know the qualities they have," said Archibald. "We know they have three lads in behind the strikers who possess quality and let them play and we let them do that.
"There's nothing worse going into a break with a defeat, but it gives us a chance to work on some stuff with the lads, but we would have rather had a victory."