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Paul Hartley setting no long-term targets as Cove Rangers look to extend League 2 run

Cove manager Paul Hartley
Cove manager Paul Hartley

Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley insists the club will not set any long-term targets this season on the back of their impressive start to League 2.

The Highland League champions, who earned promotion to the SPFL for the first time in May, are on a seven-game unbeaten run in the league, with six wins and a draw to their name.

Hartley and his coaching staff will sit down with the squad after their next two games to assess the first quarter of the season, looking at where they can improve for the following nine games.

He said: “You always want to push on and we’ll have a squad meeting after the next two games, to look at how we’re doing and where we can get better.

“Hopefully we can set ourselves a target for the next nine games and that’s how we’ll work, in quarters. We haven’t set any big targets for ourselves and we still won’t. People are saying nice things about us but we know a setback could be just around the corner.

“It’s been a good start for us. We weren’t sure how the first quarter was going to pan out as we’re facing teams that were a little bit of an unknown to some of the players. We wanted to get as many points on the board as we could in the first quarter and then look where we can improve.”

Cove return home to the Balmoral Stadium today to face Annan Athletic, their first home game since playing Queen’s Park on August 31. Ryan Strachan is likely to be out for another couple of weeks with a groin problem while Alan Redford is ill.

Hartley added: “They’re a tough team to play against and are sitting just outside the play-offs. We’re looking forward to getting back home and we’ll give them the respect they’re due.”

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