Brechin City gaffer Darren Dods felt an enforced tactical change contributed to his side’s heavy friendly loss to Dundee United on Saturday.
Injuries to his squad’s defensive players left Dods playing a back four against Ray McKinnon’s swift outfit and that extra space allowed United to run riot.
A switch back to a five-man defence stemmed the tide in the second half but City still went down 6-0.
Dods said his players never got going in the first half but will be better off for facing such good opponents.
He said: “They were very good in the first half and we never got going at all, and we’ve given the goals quite cheaply. We changed the system a bit, we were more attacking and adventurous.
“We were four at the back when we’d been five there last season on our run. Just with absences, the likes of Gary Fusco and Paul McLean, we went with four but then we changed it back to the five second half and we looked more secure.
“It was the extra space being open at the back, especially with their pace and power going forward.
“The tempo was high right from the start so it was more like a competitive game than a friendly.”
Paul McLean’s knee injury is not as bad as it first appeared when he went down against Raith Rovers and Dods is hoping to see the influential defender back on the park in the next week or two.
He added: “McLean’s knee has gone down a bit so the physio is hoping another couple of weeks, we’re maybe aiming for a week on Saturday hopefully.
“Gareth Rodger and Eliot Ford have done well for us on trial so we’ll look to do something and add them.”