Inverness 2-1 Aberdeen: Derek McInnes laments slack first half
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes bemoaned his side's first half display in falling to a maiden league defeat of the season against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
After being knocked out of the League Cup by Hibernian in midweek, the Dons slipped to a 2-1 loss in the Highlands.
"The first half was as disappointing a performance I've had since I've been here," McInnes told BBC Scotland.
"I believe the team who deserved to get three points got them."
Caley Thistle claimed a two-goal lead in the first half through Miles Storey and Ryan Christie, with Ash Taylor pulling one back for the visitors 10 minutes before the interval.
Aberdeen would control large swathes of the second half, but failed to salvage anything from the match.
"Although we dominated the second half and played with bags of spirit and enthusiasm, and we could have got that equaliser, and maybe have been deserving of that, it still doesn't mask for me that the first half performance wasn't good enough," added McInnes.
"We allowed their better players to be influential - none more so than Ryan Christie, I thought he was excellent.
Aberdeen remain atop the domestic standings, four points ahead of Celtic, and despite back-to-back losses, McInnes remains calm.
"It was the same team that beat Celtic a fortnight ago bar one player," he said. "Where we were winning challenge after challenge in that game and doing the ugly side of the game that has to be done.
"I didn't think we were doing that in the first half.
"We need to make sure we recognise what we are: a hard-working side who have to impose themselves on the opposition first and foremost.
"We've got players that can win games for us with their ability, and for me we got the game back-to-front today."
Caley Thistle counterpart John Hughes meanwhile praised the talents of Storey, on loan from Swindon Town.
"Now we can stretch the game and it gives us a chance to get on the ball and play football," said Hughes. "That's three goals in four games (for Storey).
"He's still a couple of games short of being match-fit, but he's an absolute godsend, he's fallen right into our lap and we're delighted to have him."