Arbroath boss Todd Lumsden insists his side allowed Elgin to net the easiest win they will get all season as he vowed to toughen the Lichties up for a League Two title challenge.
The Gayfield side fell to 3-0 defeat thanks to a Craig Gunn double and a Mark Nicolson strike with Craig Wilson red-carded for the hosts.
And with an Angus derby at Montrose pencilled in for next weekend, Lumsden is hoping his players will learn a valuable lesson from their opening day defeat.
“That will be the easiest three points Elgin get all season,” said Lumsden.
“It’s hard to say that on the first day but we really were that poor.
“We were poor individually and collectively and there has to be big improvements throughout our team.
“We can all do better, myself included, and I am confident that won’t happen again. The players are hurting every bit as much as I am and we can learn from this.
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb by losing the early goals and having a man sent off. You can’t afford to do that against any team.”
Arbroath’s day of woe started in just five minutes as Gunn drilled in from 10 yards.
Wilson was then shown a straight red and Elgin awarded a penalty as the Lichties defender was adjudged to have hauled down Kyle McLeod in the box.
Gunn converted and Nicolson fired in the third as the Gayfield side slumped to defeat.
Former Arbroath boss Jim Weir, now in charge of Elgin, said: “It’s only the first day of the season but wins like this breed confidence. We have come to one of the favourites in the league and won convincingly.”