Jim Goodwin insisted he was the man to turn Aberdeen’s fortunes around as he apologised for the “humiliating” 1-0 Scottish Cup exit to junior side Darvel at Recreation Park.
The West of Scotland League Premier Division champions triumphed against the odds thanks to a deflected strike by Jordan Kirkpatrick after 19 minutes of a pulsating fourth-round tie in Ayrshire.
Darvel, from the sixth tier of Scottish football, now have home tie against League One Falkirk in the next round.
Goodwin, already under pressure following the 5-0 defeat by Hearts at Tynecastle last week, has one win in nine games, but he remained defiant.
He said: “I do believe I can turn it around, absolutely. I have confidence in the squad we have got here. We are going through a very difficult period at the moment.
“We are on a poor run of form, but we have to stick together and we have to keep fighting, work hard and put on a good display at Easter Road (against Hibernian) on Saturday.
“The last two results have been extremely disappointing. To concede five against Hearts and then to come here and get turned over by a junior team is embarrassing and humiliating for everyone connected to the club and we can only apologise.
“I speak on behalf of everyone, the staff and the players. and we are extremely embarrassed by what happened tonight, although I think that is a bit disrespectful of Darvel.
“As a manager, especially a manager of a club the size of Aberdeen, you need to win games of football and our form since the return from the World Cup break hasn’t been good enough and tonight is an extremely difficult result for me to take.
“A really poor performance that lacked any urgency and any creativity at the top end of the pitch.
“We will need to do a bit of assessing later on and speak to who we need to speak to tomorrow. We will have a meeting with the players and make sure we come out fighting at Easter Road, it is as simple as that.”
Darvel boss Mick Kennedy claimed belief underpinned Darvel’s shock victory.
He said: “It is a remarkable achievement to be fair. Fair play to the lads, we have been driving that message about having belief in themselves and a collective group.
“And when you believe in yourselves and a real togetherness then anything is achievable and I told them that in my team talk and everything went to plan. It was a perfect evening.
“We rode our luck at times. Our keeper pulled off a couple of really good saves. But I thought to a man the players were outstanding.”
It is the first time Darvel have reached the fifth round and Kennedy has no doubt where the result ranks in the competition’s history of upsets.
He said: “I think this probably the biggest ever shock and what a moment for the guys in their careers.
“It is a special group of players in there, they have a remarkable bond and I have no doubt that as they move through life this is something that they will look back with fond memories.
“History makers and what an achievement.
“Two remarkable results in the last two rounds, going up to Montrose and winning 5-2 and then coming here tonight, a remarkable achievement.”