Paul Hartley says he wants to see more consistency and discipline from his Cove Rangers squad.
Cove have picked up four points from four games in League One so far, with their most recent match ending in a 2-1 defeat to Queen of the South.
Defender Will Gillingham was sent off for simulation in the loss – Cove’s second red card of the campaign following Paul McGowan’s dismissal for an off-the-ball incident in their season opener against Hamilton Accies.
And Hartley has reminded his players of their responsibilities on the pitch ahead of Cove’s trip to his former side Alloa Athletic on Saturday.
He said: “The sending offs have been absolutely stupid – there’s not been a tackle involved.
“We stress it every week about discipline, but that’s two players sent off in four games which isn’t ideal. It’s something we have addressed and will have to keep addressing.
“When the players are on the park they have go to take charge of their own game.
“It doesn’t help us. We’re missing another player this week again and Will has been playing every week, but then it is an opportunity for someone else to come in and take the jersey.”
Kerr blow after summer signing breaks ankle against Queens
Cove will be without summer signing Josh Kerr for the trip to Alloa and for the next few months, as Hartley confirmed the defender suffered a broken ankle in the defeat last week.
The Cove boss said: “He’s going to be out for a period of time. We’re probably looking at three months.
“It’s not ideal for a new signing who has done really well for us. He’s a good leader.
“It just looked like nothing, he just rolled it on the pitch. There was not even a challenge – he just planted his foot and then unfortunately we’ve got the bad news this week.
“It’s unfortunate for him and we’ll be missing a good player for the next few months.”
Hartley seeks settled team, but admits some players will move on
Hartley admits injuries and suspensions have hampered his side’s start to the League One season, but has urged his players to put in more consistent performances.
He said: “We’re looking for a wee bit more consistency. We’re only four games in and it is a brand new team.
“If we can find that consistency and the best team to pick, which has been difficult because of injuries. We still have some good players out.
“Hopefully we can get those consistency levels and stick to a team every week if we can, which isn’t easy.”
Having signed 20 new players over the summer, Hartley admits he is looking to reduce the numbers in his squad over the next month.
He added: “We’ve got a big squad here, but we probably have too many.
“I need to try and cut that down between now and the end of next month if we can.
“We need to get some players out, that’s just fact. We need to move some players on and we will be trying hard to reduce the squad.
“We’ll look where we’re at with the squad and who we think is performing well from what we’ve seen so far, but we do need to reduce the numbers quickly.”