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Cove Rangers: Mitch Megginson backs 22-game lower-league switch

Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson.
Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson.

Cove Rangers skipper Mitch Megginson has backed the move to amend the lower league season to 22 games.

As it stands, clubs in League One and Two are awaiting confirmation of an end-of-season fixture list, given they are due to resume playing on March 20.

The SPFL had agreed the resumption date but had reservations over playing 22 games – which would include a split after 18 – due to a lack of available fixture dates.

But Megginson sees it as the fairest way possible to determine who should finish where come the end of the season.

He said: “I think the 22 games would give a fairer reflection on the league. Cutting to 18 – if it needs to be then it needs to be. But my preference would be for 22 games. You’re only missing five games from what was originally planned.

“With promotions and relegations, you want to give everyone a fair crack at getting to where they want to be.

“If you look from our perspective, 18 games would leave seven cup finals to secure a place in the top four. But that would be the selfish point of view.

“We don’t hear much until it gets announced, so from our side we’re focused and geared towards having a game on March 20. I don’t think we can do anything different from our side.

“We’ve got to be ready, if everything gets the go-ahead. The cliché is ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’; if we didn’t think the season was going to start there’d be no point in us training just now.

“With us having two months out, I think everyone is just buzzing be back.”

The clubs have been out of action since the start of January, with Cove’s last game coming in the Scottish Cup against Alloa Athletic.

Cove were able to resume training last week after all players reported back a clean round of Covid-19 testing.

Megginson has kept in touch with his team-mates regularly during the last two months and believes the most important factor has been ensuring his colleagues have been able to remain positive.

He added: “It’s more from a mental side of things, making sure everyone is keeping positive. It’s been a difficult time for everyone.

Mitch Megginson celebrates a goal against Forfar Athletic.

“From the fitness side of it I don’t need to check in on anyone. Everyone has kept fit over that period and Tam (Ritchie, fitness coach) gave us a programme, so everyone had the work to follow.

“In the players’ chat, it’s just making sure everyone is keeping positive and sane. It’s been a couple of tough months for everyone, given the time of year it is.

“It’s such a close group, it’s not just myself looking after them. Plenty of others are speaking to each other and making sure everyone is keeping well.”

Among the players and staff, there had always been a belief the season would come back, even if it has been on pause now for more than two months.

Megginson added: “It would have been easy to pack up the tools (when the season was postponed) and say what’s the point? But we had a belief we would get back.

“We didn’t want a null-and-void, or for no games to be played for six months. You already missed that part of your career from the end of last season – it’s taken two months to get to this point and if you switch off and think that’s it until July, it can be quite hard to take from a football perspective.”

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