Ross County caretaker-boss Steve Ferguson admitted a tough week had taken its toll on the players as they slumped to a 4-0 defeat at Hamilton.
The emphatic reverse at New Douglas Park came just a couple of days after the sacking of Derek Adams following a dire start to the Scottish Premiership season which has left County bottom of the table and without a single point.
Ferguson said: "It's not been an easy week for anybody involved with the club. The boys have had a very difficult week and I think it took its toll.
"We prepared well and the boys trained well, but what happened during the week doesn't go away. It's still there.
"I don't doubt that they gave 100 per cent. We were just well-beaten on the day."
Patrick Kluivert has emerged as a surprise candidate for the vacancy, according to reports on Saturday, while Danny Lennon and Terry Butcher have also been linked with the job.
Ferguson added: "We've heard lots of names being bandied about, but I tend not to look too much at that. We will just wait and see what happens."
Martin Canning opened the scoring for the Accies two minutes into the second half before Mickael Antoine-Curier twice converted from the penalty spot, and County were reduced to 10 men when Uros Celcer was shown a straight red card.
Jason Scotland then came off the bench to put the gloss on the win with a fine finish in injury time.
Hamilton player-boss Alex Neil said: "We had good opportunities in the first half. We were by far the better side, but I just told them not to get frustrated and they carried it out to the letter.
"Normally when you win 4-0 you're quite happy but, to be honest, we could have added more."
The win means newly-promoted Accies are already 12 points ahead of County, but Neil said: "We don't think like that. We don't set goals.
"We just tell them every game we play is our biggest game, and because we've got such a young group it's easy to force that on them.
"You can see their passion and they're technically good, so when they click they can be a match for anyone."