Honeymoon is over, Peter Houston tells Dundee Utd side
Highlights - Dundee Utd 0-4 Inverness CT
Dundee United manager Peter Houston has warned his side that "the honeymoon period is over" after they were hammered 4-0 by Inverness on Sunday.
He described it as the worst performance by United since he took over in December from Craig Levein.
"In fact, it was a disgraceful performance," said Houston, whose team were praised for finishing third last term and winning the Scottish Cup.
"Last season is well and truly done as far as I'm concerned."
Kevin McCann gave Caledonian Thistle a 1-0 lead before half-time, but two goals from Adam Rooney and another from Russell Duncan gave Terry Butcher's side one of their most stunning victories in the Scottish Premier League.
"I felt Inverness worked harder than us," said Houston. "They got a break with the first goal, but they were sharper and quicker to the ball and I've got to ask questions why and I have asked some questions why.
I would say that, on the balance of that game, we need to strengthen in more places than centre half
Dundee United manager Peter Houston
"And it's something we need to get to the bottom of because I don't think we had many leaders out there.
"I felt more hunger and desire came from the Inverness team. They played well, but it is an embarrassing defeat for us to lose 4-0 on our own turf."
Houston had voiced his frustration previously at not being able to sign a replacement for central defender Andy Webster, who returned to Rangers after a season on loan at Tannadice.
"How do you go from a team minus one player who did so well for us last season to throwing in a performance like that?" he said.
"I would say that, on the balance of that game, we need to strengthen in more places than centre half.
"We were second to every ball in the middle of the park, but tell me where there are better players in the middle of the park than Buaben, Gomis, Robertson and Conway.
"Up front, we looked static with no ability."
The defeat by Inverness followed a lacklustre performance in losing 1-0 at home to AEK Athens in their Europa League qualifier.
Now Houston faces the task of picking up his players for Thursday's second leg and then away to Hearts in the Scottish Premier League.
"We've got a big game on Thursday and a big game on Sunday, so we will be looking for a response," he added.
"I can't put up with more performances like that.
"We got a lot of praise last season, but we've got to put to bed what happened last season and work harder and realise that everybody is going to come here and try to beat us."
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.