Dumbarton manager Stevie Aitken admits that he is embarrassed and takes the blame for his side’s 6-0 defeat to St Mirren on Saturday.

With five points from three games, Sons went into the game knowing a victory would give them an outside chance of qualifying from the Group Stage for the first time.

But they were convincingly swept aside by a Saints side who could have scored however many they wanted.

And despite two leagues separating the sides, Aitken still demands more effort from his players.

He said: “We’re embarrassed with how we played. I’ll take the blame. As a manager you want all the credit that goes your way but that means you have to take responsibility as well. It was my team and I set them up that way.

“I thought I could set up to try and be on the front foot and it backfired on us horribly.

“It was a difficult draw with St Mirren and Kilmarnock but I still expect my team to compete. We didn’t do that and were second to every ball.

“We looked like a team that deserved to get beaten and I’ve told them I’ll not accept that and we’ll move on.

“I learn every time and I was always told that you learn a lot about the team when you lose - I was never quite sure about that but today I’ve learned a lot individually and about the group of players.”

The league campaign kicks off this weekend and bookmakers have tipped Dumbarton as the favourites after a flurry of impressive signings, but based on Saturday Aitken doesn’t share that view.

He said: “That result was maybe a wake-up call.

“People think that because we’ve signed the players that we’ve signed that we’ll be favourites, but not on that performance we’ll not be. That performance would be lucky to keep them in the division.”