ALLOA captain Andy Graham says the club are frustrated with their cup campaign but insists the league's the most important thing.

Despite beating Livingston and drawing with Raith Rovers, defeats to Brechin and Cowdenbeath ensured the club did not progress.

However, it gave the new boys at the club the chance to play competitively ahead of the league opener to Peterhead this weekend.

Graham told Advertiser Sport: "They've gelled really well, it's a very, very easy dressing room to come into and the boys are always open to new faces.

"Some of them have done really well, [however] I think the overriding emotion from group stage is frustration because when we've played the teams on paper we're supposed to beat, we've not done it and the teams that you would say is going to be a struggle is the games we've performed best in so it's been frustrating.

"If you told me before a ball was kicked we were going to draw with Raith and beat Livingston then you'd be thinking we have a right chance of going through.

"We let ourselves down against Cowdenbeath and Brechin and it's very frustrating because you want to qualify, you want to go through. We've done it on numerous occasions and it builds that wee bit of momentum.

"As much as we had a good cup campaign last year, it doesn't mean anything. The league's what's going to get us places and the manager's building towards that. He did say he wants to win games but the be-all and end-all is the league, not the cup. We need to make sure we're ready for Saturday."

One of those new faces is Craig Howie, who Graham convinced to join the club.

Speaking on their budding partnership, the skipper said: "I think it's went very well, Howie's got all the attributes to go on and be a really good player for Alloa and one of the better players in the league.

"He's strong, wins his headers, good in the tackle and he's good on the ball. I think as a partnership he's helped me as well and I think we've worked quite well together.

"We need to make sure we keep that form up because we've got a very strong defensive area so we're under no illusions you need to be right at the top of your game to keep your place."

Graham also spoke of Cammy O'Donnell's performances and is glad to see the other side of his game.

"I spoke to Cammy a lot throughout his time at Alloa," Graham continued. "About being patient and making sure he was ready when the opportunity came his way.

"I think against Livingston he was excellent, up at Brechin we changed the shape a little and he struggled to adapt to that, but on Saturday he was excellent again against a right good full-back in Reghan Tumilty. I thought Cammy kept him very quiet and kept him occupied going the other way."

A delightful piece of skill by the youngster was shared on Twitter from the victory against Livingston, but Graham is just as impressed with his work going the other way.

He continued: "If you can nullify one of Raith's biggest threats then it shows me that he's tuned into the other side of the game which is great."

Despite exiting the competition, having fans back in the stadium is something Graham can't hide his happiness about.

He said: "It's an absolute game changer, I've spoken to loads of players and it's just brilliant.

"That's why you play football: whether it's support from your own fans or a bit of abuse from the away fans, that's what makes you feel like a footballer if I'm being honest. It gives you that wee bit extra.

"It's brilliant to see them back in, it really is and hopefully as time goes on the numbers will grow and grow.

"It's making a big difference, they'll be really important at Alloa for the season ahead."