Jim Goodwin's East Kilbride counterpart passed off what is probably his side's best-ever result as "pre-season", but St Mirren's boss says the 0-0 League Cup draw shows a need for new recruits.
Visiting fans voiced their displeasure as the Lowland League champions also took the penalty shoot-out bonus point.
St Mirren relied on a late penalty to beat Edinburgh City on Wednesday.
"It just shows the urgency of getting people into the squad," manager Goodwin told BBC Scotland.
"But we know where we are. I knew the job that was in hand prior to taking it. I knew we needed to recruit well and we are working hard on that."
With Dunfermline Athletic, who won their opener against St Mirren in Paisley, two points clear in Group H and hosting East Kilbride in their final game, Goodwin does not think a win away to Albion Rovers "will be enough" for his side to reach the knock-out stage even as one of the four best runners-up.
The former Buddies midfielder, who returned after a spell in charge of Alloa Athletic to replace Oran Kearney this summer, had said last week that he needed to sign "four or five players" before being "blown out the water" by a Dutch club in his attempt to sign Go Ahead Eagles striker Thomas Verheydt.
"The fans have every right to be disappointed and be frustrated - they would expect us to come here and score a few goals," Goodwin said.
"Obviously we dominated possession, we knew we would, and we've had a few decent chances as well - their goalkeeper was man of the match.
"But let's not make this about us being terrible. I have to give great credit to East Kilbride for how organised and how hard working they were on the day."
Lowland League is East Kilbride priority
East Kilbride manager Stuart Malcolm was certainly not getting carried away with what could be regarded as a famous result for his club.
"It's still pre-season for everybody and you have to take that into consideration," he said.
"Our players are raising their game against higher opposition and there is no doubting St Mirren's quality."
East Kilbride have been Lowland League champions twice in the last three years but missed out on promotion to the Scottish Professional Football League via the play-offs both times.
"This is about getting us organised for the first league game of the season," Malcolm said. "People probably don't want to hear that, but our bread and butter is the league.
"We're desperate to get out of this league and this prepares us for the first games of the Lowland League."
Malcolm picked out goalkeeper Alan Martin, the 30-year-old who has dropped down from Championship club Queen of the South this summer, for particular praise following several good saves.
"The boys put in an unbelievable performance and shift," he added. "At times, it was just about the shape of the team and being dogged and determined because obviously, with the higher quality of the opposition, it can become difficult."