Sons Boss Stevie Aitken has slammed his side after the Championship outfit defeated Stranraer on Friday night, in the opening Irn-Bru Cup Tie of the weekend.
The former Blues gaffer said:
“We are very, very, fortunate to be through into the Quarter-Finals of a cup [competition]. That [performance] is nowhere near good enough from my team; the standards we have set over the past few weeks, even in the two years I have been here, then we fell well below that standard this evening. They are a very fortunate group of boys – it could be complacency, it could be some players thinking they are better than what they are as some players think they are untouchable, but, under my watch that won’t be happening. I have standards: I want to be the best I can be and I want Dumbarton Football Club to be the best they can be. The players fell well below that, barring the opening 20 minutes. I thought Stranraer were the better team in the second half. I thought they controlled the game and they’ll be disappointed they are out of the cup.”
“I’ll wake up tomorrow and be delighted,” continues Aitken. “I will look forward to the draw [which has now occurred – Dumbarton are at home to Raith Rovers in the next round], as like every competition, it is about trying to win it but sometimes it isn’t always about that solely, it is also about standards. Last week in the second half, at Livingston, we were outstanding – it is one of the best games my team has played while I have been here. I never seen that [coming] tonight but we have hit the nail on the head straight away to make sure it doesn’t happen again. You can probably say I am a bit harsh but I demand the best of my players, myself, Ian [Durrant – Assistant Manager] and my physio’s. I felt I didn’t get that off my players tonight. I am bitterly disappointed but as I said, I will wake up tomorrow and we will be in the Quarter-Finals of the cup so we will see where it takes us.”
Asked on the pride he felt at being able to guide the Sons to a Quarter-Final berth, the manager at the Your Radio 103FM Stadium replied:
“The club had us out – they must have had us [going] out in the first round as they had already rented out the stadium for tomorrow [Saturday, 7th October 2017]. I know it is a competition that a lot of people aren’t interested in and from a managers point of view, there is no prestige in it, in terms of finances for the club, but, once you get to the Quarter-Finals of a cup [competition] you want to go and win it. We will look forward to the cup draw on Tuesday [yesterday] – maybe I will have calmed down by then! You always want a home match in a cup tie; you always enjoy playing at your own stadium in front of all of your supporters but we need to play a lot better than we did tonight, that is for sure!”