In the wake of the Toon’s 3-2 defeat to Locos, manager Jim McInally said he was let down by the second string players he gave a chance to.
Conner McGlinchey and Kevin Buchan, 20 and 19 respectively, joined goalkeeper Paul Jarvie in making rare first 11 appearances.
Although Jarvie conceded three, it was for the outfield players he gave a chance to that McInally expressed his disappointment.
McInally said: “From our point of view we switched our team about and gave our guys who’ve not been playing a chance and basically they showed me I’m picking the right team most weeks.
“Tonight I was wanting the boys to come in and show us that they were worthy of a place but at the end of the day that’s their loss.
“I was looking for people to put pressure on me to get in the team and that didn’t happen.”
Buchan and McGlinchey faded as the game went on and in the 63rd minute the manager replaced them with regular starters Rory McAllister and Andy Rodgers.
“I mixed and matched positions, especially defensively, but I thought none of them showed up really.
“As soon as the two subs came on you could see the diffrence in the game.
“Trust is the whole thing - putting out players you trust.
“I’m probably being harsh on guys like Kevin and Conner but they’ve been around long enough to know that you’ve got to step up to the mark.”
The manager also hinted that, given the lack of serious competition within the squad, he is looking to bring in new players.
Aberdeen Under 20s captain Stephen O’Neill spent a month with the Toon earlier this season and proved to be a hit.
Young defender Ryan McGeever, who has been laid low by a virus in recent weeks, also came in for the season but has yet to impress.
“At one point at the start of the season we had 16 guys pushing for a starting place but that’s not the case anymore, now there’s maybe 11 or 12 you can trust to go out and play.
“The boys let themselves down who had an opportunity tonight.
“When you come to january I think you need to try and freshen up anyway - some people fall by the wayside.”