Hearts head coach Craig Levein admitted full responsibility for his side’s 5-0 defeat at Celtic - a loss that sees the Tynecastle men’s lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership cut to just a solitary point.
The hosts were three goals to the good by the half-time interval as the Jam Tarts were caught cold, Odsonne Edouard’s brace and a Filip Benkovic header putting Brendan Rodgers’ side in cruise control.
And although the visitors carried more of a threat in the final third after the break, substitute Ben Garuccio seeing his 20-yard strike rattle Craig Gordon’s left-hand post, further efforts from James Forrest and a Ryan Christie penalty condemned Levein’s players to their heaviest defeat of the season.
However, the Hearts boss was first to admit he got his tactics wrong and felt he didn’t do his players justice in the top-of-the-table clash.
When asked to sum up the 90 minutes, Levein said: “The manager’s an idiot. I made a decision that with all the high-profile matches we’ve had, I thought the energy levels would begin to wain. I made the decision to sit in and try and frustrate Celtic and hit them on the counter-attack but I got that one wrong.
“I’ve done the players a disservice. We had more energy than I thought we had. Once you set out that way it’s very difficult to change it other than half-time.
The second half I was pleased with. I know we lost two goals but at least we were in the game and we had opportunities. I think the players felt better too.
“We’ll put this one down to me. As much as I like to blame other people I can’t do it on this occasion. I’ve told the players to forget it. We’ve been brilliant up to now and we’ll be back to ourselves next week. We’ve had to deal with a lot of problems injury-wise.
“The next time we come here we’ll be having a go for sure. I’m an ass for playing this way today.”