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Cove Rangers handed double fitness boost ahead of crucial Falkirk trip

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

Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley has been handed a fitness boost with captain Mitch Megginson and defender Scott Ross fit to face Falkirk.

Megginson, Cove’s leading scorer this season, and Ross both came off with knocks in the 1-0 defeat to Montrose on Tuesday night. 

However, both players came through a recovery session on Thursday ahead of today’s visit to the Bairns, which starts a run of four games in seven days for Cove.

They will be without defender Ryan Strachan after he was sent off at Links Park but Hartley otherwise has no selection concerns.

He said: “They’re always key players so that helps us. We’ll try get through the games as best we can and you never know what can happen.

Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson.
Cove Rangers captain Mitch Megginson celebrates with Scott Ross.

“You’ve just got to push yourself now. We’ll help the players as best we can – it’s going to be a tough run of fixtures and it’s new to everyone. It’s new to me.

“The players know what’s in front of them, it’s not rocket science. They don’t need me to tell them.”

Falkirk somewhat limped into the split on the back of just one win in their last five games. It saw them remove management duo Lee Miller and David McCracken of their duties this week, after a 1-0 loss at Peterhead.

Gary Holt, the former Livingston manager who is the club’s sporting director, will take the team.

Hartley added: “Sometimes it gives the player a lift. First and foremost you don’t want to see anybody losing their job. I’ve been there as a manager and it’s not nice.

“They’ll get a reaction with Gary Holt taking over and we’ll have to go down there with our own gameplan.

“They’ve got some players missing too, so it’ll come down to who performs on the day.”

After today, Cove face Partick Thistle at home on Tuesday night, Montrose away on Thursday and Airdrieonians at the Balmoral Stadium on Saturday.

Hartley will not have any training sessions over the next week with his players, as the focus turns to picking up as many points as possible from the hectic run.

The Cove manager will also have to manage the demands on his squad, having already played eight games since returning to action on March 20.

He said: “There’s no training now. Hopefully they can stay injury-free; that’s going to be the big thing over the next four games. Trying to keep the squad together.

“We’ll try and manage it as best we can with certain players. It’s going to come down to how the players are.

“Saturday is not too bad as you’ve got a couple of days until Tuesday but it’s the other games after that.

“You’ve got to grind results out and get as many points as you can. It’s an old cliché but just take it a game at a time and see where it takes you.”

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