Ally McCoist was a crestfallen figure on Saturday as he surveyed the wreckage of Rangers’ Scottish Cup exit at Tannadice.
His assessment of the ninety minutes was blunt.
“It was a terrible start for us and we didn’t defend very well for the second goal either, allowing them a free header,” said McCoist.
“I felt we came in to it in the second half for maybe a 25-minute period and then again in the middle of defence we gave away a very poor third goal.
“The most disappointing aspect is that Neil Alexander hardly had a save to make and also the quality of our defending was really poor.”
The Ibrox boss attempted to introduce a touch of reality to his analysis of the ninety minutes.
“I thought we could win the game although I did say that United were favourites,” he added.
“They did, after all, knock us out twice in the last three years when we had a team full of internationalists.
“So given that we have a young team with some SPL players I was right to call United favourites and I thought they deserved it.”
Ally made no attempt to use the severely-reduced travelling support as an excuse for the defeat.
“You would obviously miss the support given that they have backed us so well away from home this season but I would never say it was a factor in the defeat,” he said.
With two players ordered off, it was scarcely the best of days for the Ibrox men, but McCoist was diplomatic when questioned about the referee’s performance.
“It wasn’t ideal to have two players sent off near the end but I can’t really comment as I haven’t seen them again,” he said.
“Obviously Kal’s was a straight red for the tackle and Blackie got two yellows.
“I will have to see them again but I didn’t think there was an awful lot in the second one.
“I am more concerned about the goals we lost.”