Montrose manager Stewart Petrie has stressed he always expected the Betfred Cup to give his side a challenging start to the season.
The Gable Endies have had a tough tournament up to now to say the least, losing 14 goals without reply in Group D games against Hibs (four), Ross County (six) and Arbroath (four).
Next up they welcome Alloa to Links Park tonight, with Petrie hoping to finish a challenging few weeks on a high note.
Petrie said: “Listen, we didn’t go into the cup expecting to finish first or second in our group.
“We were never under any illusions about the demands that would be placed upon us.
“We always knew this would be a difficult test for us, especially starting with two games against Premiership sides, and so it has proved.
“We have also picked up a lot of injuries and that’s a challenge for part-time clubs but there are no excuses for the defeats – we have lost to the better side on each occasion.
“On the plus side, we have managed to give our young players game time against good teams, including Dundee United in a friendly.
“What would now be nice is if we can put smiles on the faces of our supporters with a home win against Alloa and that would take us off the bottom of the group as well.”