IRELAND back-row Sean O'Brien believes manager Declan Kidney should not cop the flack for Ireland's three-series demolition against the All Blacks.
Kidney's team gained a semblance of credibility in game two in Christchurch when a Dan Carter drop-goal denied them a deserved draw, but they were completely dismantled in a 60-0 defeat last Saturday in Hamilton.
Criticism for the poor showing has been levelled at Kidney but the Tullow Tank insists that the players are the ones to blame.
"Yeah, I think we are. The coaching staff, I've always said it, is top class there. How can you blame a coach for losing 60-0? You can't," he said.
"In fairness it's us, and we have to take it on the chin.
"It's not good enough as international players and representing your country and with the support we have, with everyone behind us, to go out and get hockeyed like that.
"It was embarrassing, to be honest. But that's on our backs and we'll live with that for a while, and the next time we pull on a green shirt we better do it justice."
O'Brien will undergo surgery on a hip problem next Monday, which will rule him out for four months - which takes in two Heineken Cup games for Leinster and the November Series against South Africa and Argentina - but he is hoping for a fast recovery.
"They say four months but I'll hopefully be back before that and target the November series. I'm a fairly quick healer," he added.
"Every bad injury I have had, I have always got back before time. That's not to say I'll be back before time. I have to come back when it's right and when I am right and ready to go back hard."