Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley says he always believed his side were capable of going on a good run of form in League One.
It was a difficult start to the league season for Hartley’s men, but their fortunes have changed recently and they are unbeaten in their last six games and have won three on the spin.
Cove sit fifth in the table with 16 points ahead of a trip to Kelty Hearts – who sit one place above with two points more, having played one game more – on Saturday.
And Hartley hopes his side can keep up their current run of form, which he believes has been in the making since the start of the campaign.
He said: “It has been a lot of hard work since the start of the season and we had seen a lot of good things. We knew it would never be an overnight thing.
“There were a lot of new players and the restructure of the club, but we’re seeing good things just now and the players are getting more confident – and winning games breeds confidence.
“We’re on a decent run and have to keep it going. There is a long way to go, but we’ve had a decent start to the second quarter and just need to keep progressing now.”
Sticking to the process key to Cove’s form
Hartley credits recent League One results to sticking by what he and his staff have sought to implement with the new-look Cove squad, which includes more than 20 new arrivals since the summer.
He added: “You have to keep believing in the process, but you have to take the criticism that comes along when results aren’t going your way because that is football.
“But we knew it would turn and the reason is because we have good players and we work on things and prepare properly as a team and as staff.
“The players know exactly what their jobs are. We are not just one of those teams or coaches who turn up and make things up as we go along.
“We plotted a process and a lot of hard work went into that. We believed in what we were doing and how we work and I knew results would turn.
“It’s still a long way to go and the next important game is on Saturday, but the boys are playing with more confidence and more freedom.”
Hartley aware of Kelty challenge as he hails Tidser impact
The Cove boss is expecting a tough match at Central Park against Michael Tidser’s side, and knows his team will have to put in another top performance on the road.
Hartley said: “It’s the key thing – being consistent and keep working hard. I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but that is the bottom line.
“Hopefully, we can get another good result on Saturday against another tough side.
“I know Michael from when he was a young kid at Celtic. He’s learning his way in the game. He is a young manager and is still a player-manager which is not easy. I have a lot of time for him and he’s had a good career.
“Kelty are a good team and play good football and we’re aware of that. We need to go there and put in a strong away performance like we did against Queen of the South.
“We had a very good performance against a top team last weekend (1-0 win over Hamilton Accies) and there was real quality in the play and within the group.
“It’s two clean sheets in a row now and that has been a real team effort. We have to keep showing the quality that there is in the team.
“It would be nice to go another game unbeaten and then we have two home games back-to-back, so that is another good chance to try keep pushing up the table.”