Dundee United frontman Nicky Clark is adamant that an encouraging opening night should not be spoiled by the shootout.
The Tangerines started the new season with a 1-1 draw against Hearts at Tynecastle in the first of the Betfred Cup Group A ties.
That was a decent result in anyone’s book and there was the considerable plus of star signing Lawrence Shankland getting off the mark for United in competitive football.
Recalling their failure from the spot in the play-off final against St Mirren in May, though, there was disappointment at going down 5-3 in the decider to give the Jam Tarts the bonus point.
Clark, who took the team’s first kick but saw it saved by goalie Zdenek Zlamal, felt it was still a case of job well done for Robbie Neilson’s team.
“The boys were happy and the manager was too,” he said.
“I think we performed well.
“We were obviously disappointed with the shootout again and I missed the first one, which I am not happy about. It happens.
“Overall, though, the performance hasn’t been spoiled by what happened after the game.
“We did a good job over the 90 minutes. Hearts had the ball for long stages but I thought we were compact and hard to break down.
“Tynecastle is a hard place to visit and leave with anything and Hearts have been a top six club over recent years.
“You also have to factor in the conditions because it was wild out there – I have never seen anything like it.”
It could have been even better for the Tangerines had Clark scored what could reasonably be called a sitter with just 12 minutes to go.
He said: “The keeper saved it and I couldn’t believe it.
“I thought he was on the floor and I could just lift it over him but he must have been on a trampoline or something.
“The right thing to do was lift it but it was a good save.”
Clark combined well with scorer Shankland at times and he feels his ne colleague will only get better.
He said: “He has settled in really well.
“You can see he is a really good player who, as well as his goals, holds the ball up really well for the team.
“I am just delighted that he got his first United goal in a competitive game and I am sure he will kick on from that.”