Ruben Sammut believes Falkirk matched Premiership St Johnstone all over the park in their 1-0 defeat at McDairmid Park.
Stefan Scougall's nicely taken first half goal gave St Johnstone the victory, effectively eliminating Falkirk from the competition.
Sammut, though, noted the improvements from the first two Betfred Cup matches, and believed the Bairns matched their top flight opponents, despite the defeat.
"I think we competed well today, and matched them in all areas of the pitch. We stepped up our game.
"It has hit home what we have got to do to do well in the league. Collectively how we worked off the ball helped us improve tonight."
The 20-year-old noted improvements all over the park, but admitted a lack of cutting edge in the final third of the pitch cost the Bairns on the night.
"As a defensive display, that was probably our best of the three games in the Betfred Cup. Just one lapse in concentration and we conceded.
"Against a top Premiership side you are going to get punished for stuff like that, but defensively as a unit we coped really well for most of the game.
"We just lacked a bit of end product and clinicalness in the final third."
Sammut played 70 minutes of the defeat before being substituted for Dylan Mackin.
The midfielder, who was previously yet to play senior football, feels as if he is improving all the time, and is enjoying living in Scotland.
"I'm really enjoying it. It's been a big learning curve and a test for myself, coming from the English game and under 23 football to step into men's football in Scotland.
"But with each game I play I'm getting better. It's definitely exciting times and I have settled well in Scotland."
Saturday's trip to Bayview to face East Fife is now essentially a pre-season fixture for Paul Hartley's side, but Sammut wants to give the fans something to cheer before the league kicks off on August 4 against Inverness.
"We are looking ahead to the fourth and our first league game, but we want to put in a good performance this Saturday to build up for that game.
"We want to put in a good performance for the fans and give something for them to be excited about come the fourth."