Dundee manager Barry Smith was quick to shoulder the blame as his bottom-placed side slumped to yet another defeat in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League match with Aberdeen at Dens Park.
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Dundee were punished by Dons striker Niall McGinn, whose second-half hat-trick left them nine points adrift at the foot of the SPL table.
Smith responded by insisting he was to blame for not changing his side in the wake of their 2-0 Boxing Day defeat at home to champions Celtic.
Smith said: "That's as poor as we've been all season. I've got to be honest about that.
"But I'll hold my hands up and admit that I got it wrong with my team selection.
"There were a lot of tired legs after the Celtic game so personally I should have looked at it.
"In hindsight, I should have changed it because it was a demanding game where the boys really put in so much effort.
"I'm not talking about individuals. It's over and I will learn from it for sure.
"We looked tired and that didn't help us on the day."
Dundee were off the pace from the word go as they finished off 2012 on a low note in front of their own fans and Smith pulled no punches in his assessment.
He added: "We were not at it all day - simple as that.
"I thought maybe there was a spell during last five minutes of the first-half when we started to get into things a little bit.
"We're obviously never happy getting beat but it doesn't matter if it is December, January or whenever.
"We want to win as many games as possible but we just didn't do enough today which was the disappointing thing."
Smith insisted the fighting spirit within the Dens Park dressing-room remains the same in their battle to beat the drop after a seven-year absence from the top-flight.
He said: "Our confidence will be dented after this performance which is understandable.
"But make no mistake the spirit will remain the same.
"It's always been good and that will never change as we have a right, good dressing-room atmosphere.
"We've been in difficult situations before and come through them so we just have to stick together and try to do the same again.
"We've got a lot of strong characters in the dressing-room who will be fighting for everything.
"We've got another big games coming up at St Johnstone in midweek which we'll get up for and get ready to go again."
Meanwhile, Aberdeen boss Craig Brown was full praise on his players, starting - but not ending - with the prolific Northern Ireland international begin.
Brown said: "We were excellent. Niall got a hat-trick but it wasn't just him.
"We were far more like ourselves and got what we deserved.
"It's a great three points and will get the confidence right back up again."