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Cove Rangers unfazed by shedding favourites tag against Queen of the South

Paul Hartley.
Paul Hartley.

Cove Rangers shed the favourites tag against Queen of the South today but manager Paul Hartley is full of confidence in his side.

Top of the table in League One and on a run of just one defeat in 12 games in all competitions, it is fair to say the Aberdeen side are in a good place just now.

Their Scottish Cup opponents are less so. Defeat to Caley Thistle last Friday leaves them bottom of the Championship with just three wins in 15 games.

The argument could be made that it would not be an upset if Cove were to emerge victorious, but their manager is well aware of the challenge which lies in store.

Hartley said: “It’s a team in a higher division and I know their form has not been great, but I watched them last week and they’ve got some attacking threats we have to be aware of.

“We’re under no illusions we’re not the favourites going into the game. They’re at a higher level than us and are full-time.

“Our home form has been excellent and we’re on a good run of games just now. We have to be at our best to get any sort of result.

Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley
Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley

“We know how tough a game it will be, but we’re going to try take the game to Queens.

“A lot of things have to go right for us on the day. We’ve started to get clean sheets; we’ve had to change a few things and the lads that have come in have done terrific.”

After a strong turnout for their last home game against Peterhead, Hartley is hoping the cup double at the Balmoral Stadium can inspire further strong crowds.

Following today’s game, they face Rangers B at home in the quarter-final of the SPFL Trust Trophy.

He added: “We want to try get a good backing. We had a good turnout against Peterhead and we know Aberdeen don’t play in the city (on Saturday).

“If we could get a good backing that would help us as it’s a big game for us.

“You can bounce into these games if you’re on a high and at this moment in time, everybody is looking forward to it and everybody is confident.”

Cove will be without midfielder Robbie Leitch with a foot injury, while Hartley will have a number of niggles to assess before the game.

Jevan Anderson.
Cove Rangers defender Jevan Anderson

Defender Jevan Anderson came back into the team for last week’s win at Airdrieonians and impressed Hartley.

He said: “When you’ve not played for a long time it’s not easy. He’s been doing some extra stuff with myself but you’re tested when you go into a competitive game.

“To get that 90 minutes under his belt, he’ll feel good about himself and he gave us good balance on the left-hand side.

“They have to train hard, that’s the biggest thing for myself. They have to do stuff away from the ground, which they’re doing, but it’s not easy when they’ve not played competitive football.”

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