Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson believes his side must learn from the mistakes which cost them dear in their Betfred Cup exit at Partick Thistle on Saturday.
The Staggies paid the price for a poor display at Firhill as the Championship side came back from 1-0 down to beat the Premiership newcomers 3-2 after extra-time.
The Jags reward is a quarter-final tie against holders Celtic. For Ross County and Ferguson, pictured, it’s a case of what might have been.
The County co-boss said: “You think after taking the lead with 30 minutes to go that we could build on it or see the game out but we didn’t do either.
“We didn’t hit the levels that we have set. That is disappointing, but equally you look how hard the guys have worked since we came back in pre-season. It’s a tough one but we can’t be too critical of them for what they have achieved in the lead up to Saturday.
“It was a great opportunity to get to the quarter finals of a national cup competition but it’s past now and we have to move on to this weekend’s match against Livingston.”
Ferguson and fellow co-manager Stuart Kettlewell were left feeling frustrated at County’s failure to make their lead count but he insists victors Partick also deserve credit for their spirited display at Firhill.
He said: “It’s natural that you think what could have been. We need to stop thinking like that now because we’re out, but I’m sure Partick will feel that if their energy levels and desire are matched in their next game, they can win again.
“They worked exceptionally hard, harder than I have seen some Thistle teams work during a match. Partick Thistle are a very different opposition to what we faced last year in the Championship.
“They have added quality in important areas. We wish them all the best in the next round of the competition.
“But from our point of view we didn’t think we did well enough from the start. Credit to Partick, they were really up for the cup tie and rightly so. When you go one goal up you think at the very worst you can do enough to see the game out and that’s how we thought it was going to go.
“The chances both sides had, it was like a game of basketball at times. We’re disappointed as it was an opportunity missed.”