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Hartley challenges Cove Rangers to take home form on the road – starting with Annan

Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley.
Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley.

Paul Hartley has challenged his Cove Rangers side to take their impressive home form on the road – starting with the long journey to Annan Athletic on Saturday.

The League 2 leaders have a 100% league record at home but their only dropped points came at Albion Rovers and Stenhousemuir.

Since the defeat by Stenny at Ochilview Cove have won four games straight and Hartley wants to see them continue that dominant form at Galabank this weekend.

He said: “We’ve not had many off-days but it happens in football. You can’t go through the whole season playing well and winning. We’ve got to show a strong mentality away from home.

“You look at our home games where we’ve dominated possession.

“It’s going to be different away from home and we have to adapt.

“You always have to look at the opposition and see where their strengths and weaknesses are.

“Our gameplan is how we exploit them defensively and how we look defensively ourselves out of possession.”

Cove head to Dumfries and Galloway with an unchanged squad, with Ryan Strachan still not back from an Achilles problem. Hartley was keen to stress the need for his squad to step up during the season and pointed to the win over Brechin as case in point.

Cove were being held by the league’s bottom side for 70 minutes at Balmoral Stadium until a change of system from the home side.

Martin Scott came on and they went with two up front and it paid dividends.

Hartley said: “It’s not about 11 players. It’s about the team and knowing we need everyone to contribute.

“When you come off the bench, you need to make an impact.

“We had a lot of possession (against Brechin) and it was just about adapting a wee bit. We needed two more bodies higher up the pitch and more boys to get in the box.

“We know what the players are capable of and we have to make sure the squad is ready.”

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