Michael Beale claims Rangers were undone by another “wasteful” performance in their 2-0 defeat at Aberdeen.
The Light Blues had the best of a goalless first half but Dons defender Liam Scales and striker Bojan Miovski scored after the break to give the home side a seventh straight win under interim boss Barry Robson and cement third place in the cinch Premiership.
Gers boss Beale now has to recover his side for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic at Hampden Park next week, where he will need them to be clinical.
He said: “We started the game quite well. Big chances, a fantastic clearance off the line from Alfredo Morelos’ shot early in the game and then a really good team move and we see Fashion Sakala go through one on one with the goalie.
“Borna Barisic hits the post then Nico Raskin gets in and shoots when maybe he should give the ball to Malik Tillman for a simple tap-in.
“We had another big chance with Rabbi Matondo, we have a huge chance with James Tavernier as well. We come as an away team today, have six massive opportunities and we take none.
“In every game we play we have missed more chances than we have taken. Regardless of how many goals we have scored, we are a team that has been quite wasteful and you would always say that it is better to create chances, that is a good sign.
“But you have to take them. As an away team today, how dominant we were at times, we have to take our chances.”
It was the first defeat for Beale by anyone except Celtic since he took over as boss last November and he believes it was an “eye opener” for some of his players.
He said: “It’s the reality of Scottish football for some of these players.
“Aberdeen look like they are back to their old selves. They are quite front foot, quite aggressive in the way they play. You could see what it meant to them at the end, but that’s fine.
“It’s a rivalry and you could see what it meant to them to get the win. And I think it’s a warning sign to us going into next year.
“We have gone away from home and blown quite a few teams away. But next year this sort of result will be hugely damaging to us.
“It’s an eye opener for one or two players and the lesson for the team is that when you get the chances we had you have to take them. In any game of football against any opponent, but certainly here.”
Asked if the job as permanent Aberdeen boss was his after such a good run of form, former Dons midfielder Robson said: “Five questions in! You know the answer, don’t you. We’ll talk about that later.
“Let’s not get carried away about me or ‘are you going to get the job’. Let’s put this about the players and the fans today.
“It’s not about me. Put it on to them, talk about how good they’ve been, how much they ran and fought for the club.
“That’s what I’d like all of you to talk about, not about me.”
Robson claimed referee Nick Walsh wanted the ball boys to speed up, which left him bemused.
He said: “The referee for the first time in my 20, 30 years in football, it was the first time he’s come over and said, ‘can you tell the ball boys to hurry up’. Thirty years? I didn’t get that one.
“I can’t remember, maybe 10, 15 minutes to go. I’ve not heard that one before. I’m not falling out with the referee, I just found it quite funny.”