Mark Whatley was absolutely gutted following Arbroath’s 1-0 defeat to Montrose on Saturday.
Not only because the Lichties had lost a derby game, but because the players just weren’t as good as they should’ve been.
Dick Campbell’s side have set an excellent performance standard in recent weeks as they chased down Forfar Athletic’s 11 point gap at the top of the League Two table.
But that standard was far away from the level on show at Gayfield on Saturday, according to the Lichties skipper.
And Whatley stressed that regardless of whether the defeat is viewed as a missed opportunity overtake the Loons, or no harm done because Forfar lost too, the important fact is that Arbroath remain second in the title race.
He said: “The most annoying thing was that we didn’t play to our potential. Coming off the park we knew we hadn’t reached the heights of previous weeks.
“We did create chances, we always do, but even then our general play just wasn’t as good as it has been. We huffed and puffed and Fleming did have saves but we simply could’ve played better.
“You can look at it as us not losing ground on Forfar, you can look at it as us missing an opportunity. But at the end of the day, we got beat and we’re behind them.
“We’re still behind, we’re making up ground but we’re still second.”
It’s a mammoth trip to Annan Athletic for Arbroath this week and it’s sure to be a great clash between an in-form Galabankies outfit and a Lichties side who are setting club records with their away form.
Mark continued: “Our only focus is on trying to beat Annan. We need to try and win that game and at the end of the day, see where it takes us - it’s all we can do.
“Annan are doing well, it won’t be easy but there hasn’t been an easy game all season. At the same time though there hasn’t been a game in which we haven’t aimed to go and win, so that’s what we’ll do again.”