Peterhead boss Jim McInally expressed his frustration at his players after the Blue Toon were reduced to ten men against Stranraer on Saturday.
Reece Donaldson saw red after bringing down Willie Gibson ten yards inside the Peterhead half, making things tough for the home side.
Speaking after the game, McInally said that the game had been littered with too many bookings and stupid tackles, but pointed the finger squarely at the players themsleves.
“The first half was okay and it was pretty even but the first 15 minutes of the second half cost us.
“Stranraer were the better side and I was in the process of going to change things when Reece got sent off and then it was hard going with ten men.
“We had a bust-up in the changing room after the game.
“The players can come in and complain about referees all they want, but they have to start looking at themselves without blaming the opposition for jumping and screaming.
“I don’t know if Reece’s red car was deserved but he gave the referee an opportunity to send him off by lunging in when he should have stayed on his feet.”
McInally said while the penalty might have been soft his players need to stay on their feet.
“All in all it was a well-fought cup tie with not a lot in it at the end of the day,” he said.
“Stranraer probably showed us a lot of respect when we went down to ten men because they never went up the park too much after that.
“We forced a couple of saves, but that was it really.
“My only complaint about the referee was the four minutes of added time.
“One incident lasted three minutes so I thought he might have added on five or six, but he probably just wanted the game to stop.
“I feel sorry for the referees sometimes at what they have to put up with.
“We now just need to step up and improve our performance and they players have to make themselves better and play better.
“We have guys getting nearer to fitness and once they are available I think we should be okay,” he added.
However, one player who may not be back in the Blue Toon side is Nicky Riley as he came to the end of his month loan from Dundee.
He said: “I’m not too sure what is going to happen at Dundee. I have enjoyed coming to Peterhead and playing because I was out of the picture at Dundee. We will just have to wait and see what happens.”