Peterhead boss Jim McInally is hoping for an immediate response to his side’s Scottish Cup disappointment.
The Blue Toon missed out on the chance to host Kilmarnock at Balmoor on April 3 after losing 1-0 against League Two Stenhousemuir in the second round on Tuesday night.
Full focus will now be on climbing a tightly-bunched League One table, with Peterhead sitting seventh, but only two points behind third-place Montrose.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game at Dumbarton, McInally said: “The league is paramount. Doing well in the league is what it is all about for us this season.
“We have got a good opportunity as we are only two points behind the team in third.
“We just need to keep going and hope that the players run into a bit of form.
“Stenhousemuir have been a bogey team for us.
“You could see how fired up they were, but we matched their enthusiasm in the second half.
“I always knew their forwards were going to be a handful.
“Mark McGuigan has scored goals at this level for years.
“I like Tommy Muir and I actually tried to sign him two seasons ago.
“Botti Biabi has been at Swansea. David Hopkirk is a good player and then they were bringing on Greig Spence and Tom Collins, who are decent players.
“Our effort was good. I thought Andy McCarthy was unbelievable with the way he was chasing everything around the park.
“He did the job of two or three players at times.
“We need to move on.
“We have no choice. It is going to be games on Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday.”
— Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) March 24, 2021
McInally admits he is expecting some inconsistency from his side as they bid to reach full match sharpness.
The Blue Toon returned to competitive action for the first time in over two months with a 1-0 home win against Airdrieonians last weekend.
But they followed that up with a disappointing display as they exited the Scottish Cup with a 1-0 reverse against Stenny at Balmoor.
Captain Scott Brown limped off after 23 minutes with a hamstring injury, while fellow midfielder Jordon Brown was an unused substitute after also suffering with a similar problem.
McInally said: “For the first couple of weeks, there is a semi-excuse because the players have been away from the game for so long.
“We have only had four training sessions so it is hard to ask them to come out and be at their best.
“We have to hope for the best for a couple of weeks and then after that there are no excuses.
“In that time you have to manage them as best you can.
“If we weren’t in the situation we are in, I would probably have taken a chance with Jordon Brown and maybe left Scott Brown on.
“We have got Simon Ferry, Hamish Ritchie and Steven Boyd back on Saturday and Jordon should also be ok.
“Boydy’s wife has just had a baby. His (Covid-19) test only came through on Monday, he wasn’t able to play, which I think is pretty ridiculous.
“I don’t know why Sunday night is the cut-off if you’ve got a clear test, but he wasn’t allowed to play.
“We just need to deal with everything that is thrown at us and get on with it.”