Jim Goodwin has described Dundee United’s 4-2 collapse against Falkirk as a “reality check”.
The Tangerines crashed out of the SPFL Trust Trophy as Callumn Morrison (2), Tom Lang and Finn Yeats rippled the net for the League One leaders, rendering goals from Mathew Cudjoe and Tony Watt moot.
The reverse ended United’s proud 17-game unbeaten run in all competitions; a sequence stretching back to July.
And Goodwin pulled no punches in his assessment of the showing, suggesting the Bairns looked more hungry and energetic.
Allied with a swathe of uncharacteristically sloppy moments from United, it made for a miserable evening for the Tannadice gaffer and watching Arabs.
“Tonight was a reality check for the group,” said Goodwin. “We cannot just turn up to places like this and not maintain the high standards we have shown up to now. If you come off it even slightly, then the game becomes difficult.
“Falkirk were excellent, and deserved winners. They seemed to have more energy than us, picked up more second balls and did the basics a lot better than we did.”
However, Goodwin was keen to retain a sense of perspective, given United’s fine start to the campaign.
Yeats! Leis a chiad tadhal den seusan, tha Finn Yeats a' cur Falkirk air ais air beulaibh!
Yeats get his first goal of the season AND gives Falkirk the lead again! pic.twitter.com/hhV9i485rb
— BBC ALBA (@bbcalba) November 17, 2023
He continued: “I’m not going to overreact, although I’m disappointed with the performance, and that we’re out of the competition.
“It is certainly worth remembering that we have been on a long unbeaten run and the boys have been excellent. This was just a reminder that you can be on the wrong end of a result if you don’t apply yourself properly.”
And Goodwin will demand a response when they travel to face Queen of the South on Scottish Cup duty next weekend.
He added: “If you were to pick a blessing, if you must have an off-night then you would prefer it to be in this trophy rather than the league. But next week in the Scottish Cup, we want a really positive reaction.”