Hearts boss John McGlynn bemoaned the loss of injured skipper Marius Zaliukas after accepting his side paid the price for "criminal" defending in a 3-2 home defeat to Inverness.
The game saw Inverness take advantage of some slack defending by the home side, heading home from set-piece deliveries on two occasions
Twice Gary Warren was afforded time and space to nod home, while Billy McKay pounced for his 18th league goal of the season to send him top of the SPL scoring charts once again.
McGlynn acknowledged his side's culpability in those goals but also pointed to the absences of out-of-contract captain Zaliukas, who looks like he has played his last game for the club after rupturing ankle ligaments, and departed defender Ryan McGowan as contributing factors.
He said: "The goals we lost were criminal defending. It was three set-pieces.
"That's where you miss guys like Zaliukas, who would have defended these set-pieces. You can't keep replacing guys like him and McGowan, who would have been big players at these situations.
"Was it a lack of concentration? It might come down to that. We had a man-to-man marking situation and there is a man nominated to mark the lad who scores the goals.
"It's quite simple. You pick up your man, you go with him and you attack the ball. But that's not what happened. It was run-of-the-mill, very simple stuff."
"But I'm not going to hang anyone out to dry. We're in a situation where we need to stick together."