Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes branded his side's display against St Johnstone as "naive and weak" in the wake of their 5-1 home defeat.
The Dons were punished by a clinical Saints side who picked up a first away league win of the season.
McInnes cited his side's inability to defend set-plays as the main reason for their capitulation at the hands of St Johnstone.
"I think the more aggressive team won today," McInnes told BBC Scotland.
"They were winning more tackles, winning more headers and we've got to be good at the other side if that's not going to play a part.
"We've got players who at times the best part of their game is running with the ball, passing the ball, but we were sadly lacking today.
"I think there's plenty effort from the players, but there has to be a responsibility from all of us to give a better account of ourselves than that."
McInnes was clearly irked by the worst result of his Dons career but does not think it will be difficult to recover from with the club still top of the Premiership.
"We were hoping to see the kind of recovery we threatened at Inverness last week," he added.
"We created some chances today, we had some decent play, we brought a lot of pace to the game, but it counts for nothing if you can't stand up and deal with straight balls, second balls, balls into the box.
"St Johnstone were streetwise and strong. We were naive and weak."
A broad smile on the face of Saints striker Graham Cummins was partly in disbelief as he tried to take in the magnitude of the scoreline at Pittodrie.
The Irishman admits he was as surprised as those who witnessed the most stunning scoreline of the Premiership season so far.
"I don't think we played well in the first half and we've scored three goals away to the league leaders, which is unbelievable really," said Cummins.
"It's a great result, especially being our first away points as well.
"Every chance we got, we took. Everything just went right on the day.
"The international break has come at the wrong time for us, but our aim is always to get into the top six and have a cup run."
Cummins was also adamant that manager Tommy Wright will not be leaving any time soon after the Northern Irishman was linked with the Dundee United vacancy.
"He understands us and I don't think he'll leave, I really can't see that happening," the striker added.
"On paper, people would probably say that Dundee United are a bigger club, but I think our gaffer still thinks he can do a job here and possibly get linked with bigger clubs.
"I don't know what his ambitions are. Down south maybe? What he's achieved at St Johnstone is remarkable.
"All I know is he seems extremely happy here and I will be very surprised if he wasn't here."