Callum Morris insists Ross County cannot afford any further slip ups if they are to finish top of their Betfred Cup section.
The Staggies needed a penalty shoot-out to claim a bonus point in their last outing against Montrose, after the Premiership outfit had relinquished a 3-0 lead at Links Park.
Tonight’s opponents Arbroath have won their opening two fixtures, and the Red Lichties will rule County out of contention for top spot should they claim a win at Victoria Park tonight.
Although County manager Stuart Kettlewell is taking the opportunity to rotate his squad in the League Cup matches, Morris says his side cannot afford to lose focus in their efforts to qualify from Group D.
Morris said: “It’s not even about building momentum, it’s about finishing first in the group.
“We want to do well in every competition and we want to make sure we win this group and progress in the cup.
“If you look at all the results, there’s bigger teams dropping points in these games.
“We want to be clinical and we know what’s at stake.
“It’s not just a kickabout against a lower league team, they’re a good side and 100% so far in the group.
“We’ve got to make sure we come out on top and look to the next two games to win the group.
“We know that starts with us putting in a good performance off the back of a not so great performance last week.”
Former Aberdeen and Dundee United defender Morris was handed just his second outing of the campaign against Montrose, with the 30-year-old insisting County’s late collapse is all the warning they need for their remaining matches.
Morris added: “Montrose wasn’t the ideal result, but we know what we need to put right from that game.
“Hopefully we can put it right and make sure we’re still on track to top the group.”