Fuming Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill slammed his players for a “pathetic” show against Luxembourg which ended in a humiliating 3-2 defeat on Tuesday night.
Total disregard for his systems and the collective game-plan meant his men were exploited by the hosts, who thoroughly deserved the three points.
O’Neill said: “It was a really, really poor performance. We lacked energy, intensity, intelligence and desire.
“We got exactly what we deserved. If anything we scored against the run of play in the first-half.
“Our management of the game was pathetic,” he said.
“At the end of the game you are putting younger players in to chase the game; I just feel for people who came to watch it.
“That was not acceptable and the players know my feelings on it. As a manager and players we owe a big apology to the supporters.
“There was a lack of leadership throughout and it is not good enough.”
The 44-year old, who was lifted by his first win in charge against Russia last month and Friday night’s gutsy effort against Portugal, expressed some choice and possibly unprintable words with the team following their capitulation.
He added: “Tonight was as poor as I have ever been involved with as a manager – completely, not just this job.
“We can learn from it, there is no alternative but that is the poorest by some distance. None of the good things we have done were in that performance.
“If they turn up to play like that, it is a waste of time,” said O’Neill.
“Nothing worked for us and there is not a single positive we could have taken out of that.
“We got what we deserved but what I said in the dressing room needs to stay there.”