Manager Gary Locke described Kilmarnock's first half performance as "embarrassing" after they fell to a 4-0 defeat at home to Ross County.
Jonathan Franks, Andrew Davies and a Liam Boyce double had County four up inside 35 minutes at Rugby Park.
And Locke, whose side are rooted to the bottom of the table, called it "unacceptable."
"We're not giving ourselves a chance in games with the way we've started," Locke told BBC Scotland.
"The first half was embarrassing. It's maybe a lack of confidence but we're going to have to stick together.
"The last couple of games I thought we were getting there and improving. We've got to play better than that, that's unacceptable.
"We showed a bit of character in the second half but it's easy to play when you're 4-0 down, we've got to make sure we give ourselves a chance in games by doing our jobs."
Kilmarnock have managed just two points from their opening five fixtures, and have conceded 14 goals in the process, leading Locke to admit he needs to dip into the transfer market to find new faces before the end of the month.
"Without a doubt," he said when asked about new recruits. "It's difficult because the budget's spent, but the transfer window isn't closed.
"I think it's pretty evident after today that we need to strengthen at the back."
Ross County manager Jim McIntyre saw his side rise to fifth in the table, leapfrogging Dundee.
"I'm thrilled," said McIntyre. "I thought right from the first whistle we were excellent. To be 4-0 up after 35 minutes you've done a lot of things well in the game.
"We spoke about the need to be ruthless and get at teams and the boys certainly did that.
"We knew Kilmarnock would come out with strong words said at half-time. We just wanted to keep a clean sheet, that was the biggest thing for us.
"I think we were in the top half before the game and the aim is to try and stay there. We've got a lot to prove. It's only one match.
"It's a fantastic performance, but we'll take the confidence of that, we'll get rested up, we've got Ayr United at home on Tuesday night so we'll rest the legs and get ready for that."