Dundee manager James McPake cut a frustrated figure after their Betfred Cup stalemate with Cove Rangers as he demanded more out of his side.
The Dark Blues boss watched his side labour to a goalless draw with the League Two new boys in normal time at the Balmoral Stadium before they secured a Group D bonus point via their 3-2 penalty shootout success.
Following on from the Dee’s excellent 3-0 section-opening win at Raith Rovers last Saturday, James was left disappointed by their “poor performance” against the Highland League champions in a rain-sodden Aberdeen.
And he has told his players he expects better from them when League One Peterhead, with whom they share top spot in the group, come to Dens tomorrow afternoon.
“We’re back at Dens, which is a bonus for us, to get out in front of our own fans – we’ve been eager to do that,” boss James said.
“It all comes down to the performance needing to be better, which it will be I’m sure.”
He added: “We certainly lacked any sort of rhythm, any sort of quality.
“Again, I can’t and I won’t criticise them on effort and application because it has been there from day one but on the ball we were poor.
“It’s not a wake-up call because it’s just the start of the season but it was a poor performance.
“The bonus point might end up being important but we’re talking about performance and it wasn’t good enough.”
James was up against a familiar face last night in Cove manager Paul Hartley.
Former Dundee boss Hartley signedMcPake for the Dens Parkers back in 2014 and was going up against his old club for the first time since his exit in 2017.
Despite that, Hartley insists it wasn’t strange going up against a former player in a role he once held.
He said: “It’s not strange for me (coming up against McPake).
“I’ve got no problems with that whatsoever and I’m sure they’ll go and have a good season.
“I didn’t really see him beforehand as I was more focused on my team.”
The former Falkirk gaffer added: “Overall we more than matched them. They went toe-to-toe with them. We knew in spells we wouldn’t have the ball so we had to work hard and we did.”