Montrose star Paul Watson felt his side acquitted themselves very well in their 3-0 League Cup loss to Hibernian on Saturday.
Goals from Scott Martin, Scott Allan and Jason Cummings gave the Hibees victory over their League Two opponents but Watson was very impressed with how the team managed to contain the Premiership promotion contenders for so long.
We’ve got to go into all games in the league with the belief that we can win the tie.Paul Watson
He said: “I think defensively it was a good performance, inasmuch as we managed to contain them to a reasonable extent for about 60 to 70 minutes.
“I felt around that time, we were coming into the game a bit more. We’d been containing them but we hadn’t done much with the ball in terms of taking the game to them and trying to create chances.
“It’s difficult when you play these teams. But around 70 minutes we were up and around their box, they went and got their second goal and from there the fitness comes into play. The last 15 or 20 minutes, they were cutting us open a bit more.
“The boys stuck with it and 3-0 isn’t the end of the world. It’s a defeat but we contained them well. We probably could have done better with the ball. It’s an encouraging performance.
“Certainly against Forfar in the first half, I thought there was only one team in it. We didn’t bother Rab as much as we’d have liked but we were playing some good football.
“Second half they brought on Templeman and he just makes such a difference for them. They were hitting him and they have decent players playing off of him.
“We still acquitted ourselves well against a good Forfar side. We stopped them playing and we played some good stuff. They’re certainly two encouraging performances but we’re still out of two cups.”
Montrose now face Berwick Rangers in the League Two opener and Paul - who has donned the skippers’ armband since the start of pre-season - knows it’s a tough trip in store but said the players make the journey with belief.
He added: “Berwick is always a tough place to go. When you go down in the winter it’s a heavy park and a bad surface to play on. But there are no excuses at this time of year.
“We’ve got to go into all games in the league with the belief that we can win the tie.
“It’s going to be a tough start, we’ve got Berwick, Arbroath and Clyde in the first three games.