Aberdeen manager Craig Brown admits last night's League Cup loss to Second Division East Fife is the worst of his career.
The Dons fell behind before taking the lead 2-1 just after half-time but the Fifers rallied by scoring twice more to edge ahead 3-2 prior to the hour-mark.
Brown said it was a bad day for the club but insists he will not take the easy way out and made it clear that the club will be challenging with the top SPL clubs soon enough.
"This is arguably the worst result of my career and there are no excuses. We were poor and didn't play," he said.
"I maybe made a mistake by making too many changes but this just confirmed that some of our fringe players aren't up to the standard required.
"I'm not absolving myself of blame and I have confidence in my ability to turn things around. But if other people do, there is nothing I can do about it.
"I am not thinking in any way that we won't get this club back into contention in the SPL and I think Archie Knox and I are capable of that."
He added: "I've never lost to a so-called minnow before. I hate being associated with a result like this.
"I'm under no illusions about bad luck or anything like that it was a poor performance.
"We were fortunate to get to extra time and having got there we should have done better than to have lost on penalties."