Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley insists his side are “not a million miles away” from where he wants them to be.
The Balmoral Stadium side sit second bottom in League One with seven points from eight games and host Annan Athletic, who sit one point and one place ahead, on Saturday.
Cove are unbeaten in their last three matches – all of which ended in 2-2 draws – and Hartley believes he has seen enough in those games to think his side are improving.
He said: “We’ve had good character in the last couple of games after going behind to then score late goals, but it is just about finding the consistency.
“The next thing to do is we have to start winning. Some of our play has been really good and we keep saying the final little bits and losing poor goals at times is what needs to improve.
“I don’t think we’re a million miles away. It’s just turning the draws into wins and climbing up the league table.”
‘Not the start we wanted’ – Hartley
The home clash with Annan is the final game of the first quarter of fixtures and Hartley admits it has been a difficult start to life back in League One.
The Cove boss added: “It’s been challenging and frustrating at times.
“It’s not the start that we wanted, but if we can get a result on Saturday, hopefully, it can propel us to pick up more points in the next quarter.
“Every thing can be thrown at you in football – the number of injuries we’ve had and we’ve had three red cards in eight games, so there have been a lot of challenging situations.
“If we can finish the first quarter with a result it really gives us the chance to push on really hard in the next quarter.
“It’s a tough league and if you can win three or four games on the spin then you are doing really well.
“If you look at some of the teams who have done that it puts you right into the top four and that’s what we’ve got to look to do, but the next biggest challenge is to win on Saturday.”
Cove will be without Mitch Megginson against the Black and Golds, with the captain serving a two-match suspension after being sent off for violent conduct against Stirling Albion last week.
Hartley said: “He’s experienced enough to not get into that situation no matter what anybody has said or done to you. He should know not to get caught up with it.
“It costs him and it costs us also, but it gives someone else the chance to come in and grab the jersey. That’s how football works.
“He misses two games and we can’t afford to be missing people, especially our captain and somebody who has been scoring goals for us.
“We’ve got to get on with it now and it does give the chance for somebody else to come in and do well.”