The St Johnstone players know what needs to be put right to turn Viaplay Cup frustration into a Premiership fast start, according to defender Tony Gallacher.
Gallacher admitted that Saints have to make amends for losing two games to lower league sides, turning the last Group A contest against Stirling Albion on Saturday into a dead rubber.
And being more clinical when they’re on top – as they were for big spells of Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Ayr United – is near the top of the where to improve list.
“It’s bitterly disappointing,” said Gallacher.
“The goal was to top the group and get to the next round.
“We feel as though we’ve let ourselves, the fans and the gaffer down by not doing that.
“All we can do is bounce back.
“The league season is obviously our main focus and we need to be ready for the start of it.
“We’ll learn from this and be better.”
The former Falkirk and Liverpool man added: “When you get chances you need to take them, especially early in a game.
“If we’d scored one or two that match would have been completely different.
“Instead, we let them get into the game and they scored first. The second goal was a big deflection and we tried to force it a bit too much after that.
“We’ve spoken about it and we need to be calm in those circumstances. We’ll learn from that.
“The positive is we’ve created chances.
“The more we train and play, the more fluid we’ll become in attacking situations and the more we’ll put the ball in the back of the net.”
Grabbing the jersey
There was a left-back vacancy after Adam Montgomery’s loan deal came to an end in the summer and he’s seized it.
“On a personal note I’ve been delighted with the trust the gaffer has put in me,” said Gallacher.
“I didn’t play much last season so it might have been on his mind whether I’d be ready to step up.
“I did everything I could in pre-season to convince him.
“Results haven’t gone as we’d hoped in two of the games but I’m obviously delighted to be back in the team and hopefully I can kick on from here, improve, and keep my place.
“Monty was very steady last season.
“That’s football – if you get injured somebody else gets the chance to come in.
“I’ve had to bide my time but this is my opportunity.”
The combination play on the left with Graham Carey will be a key facet of Steven MacLean’s attacking plans.
“G will be hard to pin down if you’re a defender,” said Gallacher.
“It will be hard for the opposition to know what we’re going to do.
“We try to mix it up.
“We can both come inside or go outside and sometimes he’ll drop deeper.
“Things are still coming together and hopefully that’s a relationship that can build over the course of the season.”
Signings – so far so good
More new signings will be made before the Premiership campaign begins but Gallacher has been impressed by the two already at McDiarmid Park.
“Dimi (Mitov) showed again what he can do,” said the 24-year-old. “He saved a penalty.
“He’s fitted in well straight away.
“It’s the same for Jeph (Luke Jephcott).
“You can tell he’s a goalscorer. He’ll be one of those players who, when he gets one, the goals will keep coming.
“We’ve got high hopes for both of them.”