Manager Jim McIntyre says his Ross County outfit must get fitter and learn to win ugly if they are going to rescue their season.
The Staggies were beaten 3-0 by Aberdeen on Saturday and remain rooted to the foot of the Premiership table without a point from seven games.
"There's quality in the squad but we need to work harder and do the ugly side of the game better," McIntyre said after his second game in charge.
"And fitness levels have to improve."
McIntyre replaced the sacked Derek Adams in the County hotseat and lost his first match in charge against Motherwell.
The Highlanders were swept aside by Aberdeen at Pittodrie thanks to first-half goals from Adam Rooney and David Goodwillie - both from set-pieces - and Peter Pawlett's deflected effort after the interval.
And the County manager was unimpressed with his side's defending.
"We got off to the worst possible start by gifting them goals from set-plays," McIntyre said. "It's hard enough coming to places like Aberdeen when the team is low on confidence.
"It's something we worked on during the week about making sure you stay with your runners, and it's come back to haunt us.
"We created a couple of chances, Rocco Quinn had two really good chances to score and if you take one of them it gets you back into the game and gives our team a lift.
"There's not a lot of positives to take from the game as Aberdeen were very good, we never did our jobs properly and the game was done from there.
"It's our job to lift them and the best thing is we have a game on Tuesday night [League Cup against Hibernian] to bounce back - hopefully we can get our first win and that will get us going."