Mark Kerr watched his Ayr United side slump to a 4-0 defeat at the Tony Macaroni Arena as they failed to progress to the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
Kerr found himself with a mountain to climb after 15 first-half minutes as Livi ran riot and scored three in that spell. The Ayr performance was poor, and Kerr was critical of how his players performed: “We know how to defend set plays and we know how to defend short throw-ins and once they do it once or twice, we should recognise it and go out there and stop the balls coming in.
“We were giving away fouls and we continually fed into the hands of Livingston. To be fair, Livingston played well after that, because if you go one or two goals up early it is a great opportunity to pass the ball around on a pitch like that.
“We were set up today to get forward and play football and we never did that. We never defended set plays and we never got the ball down and passed it about quick enough either that is probably the learning curve for me to realise that on a pitch like that you have no excuse not to move the ball quickly.”
The Ayrshire defence could not handle the speed and trickery of the Livi frontline with ex-Honest Man Alan Forrest causing problems for his former teammates all over the park.
Kerr was unhappy with his players ability to defend the basics: “There was maybe two or three times where we could give Livingston credit. It is not like they haven’t played any football or anything like that.”
“It is the fact that you are losing headers, probably free headers. It is just stopping them early and that’s something that we have not struggled with this year. The problem was we just haven’t dealt with the movement and the build-up to the goals and we have been shocked by that and I don’t know why because we have watched it and we know that they do this.
“I thought that we were big enough and strong enough to deal with that, but we weren’t.”
The Ayr player-manager said his players had instructions on how to play and prevent Livingston from playing their style of football, but they were not adhered to: “These games are brilliant if you can go and get a result and that was the plan.
“We wanted to set in and soak up the pressure and if we had done that, we could have went that way with it but it wouldn’t have been a different outcome because we didn’t deal with the basic stuff. So, no matter what, it would have been disappointing.”