Cove Rangers manager Jim McIntyre pulled no punches when asked for his assessment of our 3-2 defeat by Kelty Hearts at Balmoral Stadium in the Premier Sports Cup.
The loss ended hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages from Group G with one match to still left to play, away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday.
Jim said: “It’s not good enough, to be quite honest.
“While I think there were several things we did well in the game, what we didn’t do well was the basics.
“For me it was matching runners and there were too many times when we got cut through.
“We need to be better than that.
“I thought Kelty deserved their victory, they could possibly have scored a goal or two more.
“We need to be better all over the pitch, whether that’s decision making when we have the ball, or it’s making sure we are winning enough one versus one duals, which I don’t think we did.
“Generally, as a team, we need to make sure we aren’t easy to play through; we were cut open far too easily.
“We need to get back to being tighter as a team and make sure we are not giving the opposition easy chances.”
Despite the below par performance, we could have taken the tie to a penalty shoot-out to claim an extra point had referee Duncan Williams awarded a penalty deep into injury-time, when defender Mark Reynolds was blatantly pulled to the ground.
“I don’t think the referee gave us much. I thought there were a few really poor decisions.
“One in the lead-up to one of the goals, which I thought was a foul on Gerry (McDonagh).
“It’s a definite penalty on Mark Reynolds right at the end, he was hauled to the ground.”
Reynolds had to be helped from the field after suffering a gashed ear when Shay Logan caught him while attempting to equalise with an acrobatic overhead kick, seconds after the penalty incident.
Jim confirmed the injury isn’t too serious and Reynolds should be available for the weekend visit to Inverness, although it looks as we will again be without midfielders Blair Yule and Jamie Masson, the latter missed the clash with Kelty because of a hamstring injury.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s tie, Jim said:
“You want to win every game you go into, but we will need to be a hell of a lot better than we were in this one. Inverness are a good, strong, side.
“It’s up to us to show a bit of bounce back come Saturday.
“The one thing we have is an honest group of players. They know fine well that wasn’t good enough.
“It’s a case of dusting ourselves down and getting back into training to get ourselves ready for Saturday.”
Striker Leighton McIntosh was equally as honest about the performance:
“It was a disappointing result.
“We never started well and they punished us early on and we were always struggling to get back into it.
“I know it’s still very early in the season, but it’s a bit of a wake up call. Sometimes it comes down to individual performances and making sure that your man doesn’t get the better of you.
“It’s not like us.
“Hopefully we will be able to do better up at Inverness as we want to get a bit of momentum before the league campaign starts.”
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