Dumbarton manager Stevie Aitken says that his side need to think again if they believe they will coast this season.

The Sons have made a host of impressive signings after relegation from the Championship last season, but were well beaten 2-0 by Forfar Athletic at the C&G Systems Stadium on Saturday.

Aitken’s men were installed as favourites by most bookmakers in the run up to the season, but has challenged his players to improve after they were comprehensively swept aside by the Loons.

He said: “It was probably the wake up call we needed.

“If we think we can just turn up and, because we’ve signed good players, we can go and challenge for the title then we’ve got another thing coming because the first 20 minutes is probably the worst I’ve witnessed.

“We were lifeless, effortless and deserved to go behind.

“In the second half we had a go and had a couple of half chances but it was powderpuff stuff.

“After last week they’re thinking they’re going to win the league.

“You need to go and earn the right to win the league and win games of football.

“It’s alright signing good players, and we do have good players in the dressing room, but they need to understand that anything you get you need to work for and they didn’t work hard enough for it

“It’s the wake up call that we’ve needed.”

John Baird had the visitors ahead midway through the first half before Sons had the chance to equalise from the penalty spot, but Calum Gallagher had his spot kick easily saved.

Aitken admits that scoring the penalty may have changed the game, but acknowledges that his side weren’t good enough on the day.

He said: “We rallied a wee bit and got a penalty. I probably could have saved it. It summed up the day.

“If the the penalty goes in then maybe we win 2-1 but that’s just going to cover the cracks.

“Right from the word go it was lifeless and that shouldn’t be the case. There should be a tempo to it, we should be on the front foot and be creating chances but we never did that.

“We weren’t good enough today.”