Paul Hartley hopes Cove Rangers can kick off a Scottish Cup run this weekend to help boost the club financially.
Cove begin their Scottish Cup campaign in the third round when they travel to fellow League One side Stirling Albion on Saturday.
If Hartley’s side progress to the fourth round a tie against one of Scotland’s top sides could await.
In recent seasons Cove have come up against Premiership outfits in the domestic cup competitions, but Hartley says his side did not reap the financial benefit of those games.
Cove’s League Cup clash with Hibs in October 2020 at Balmoral Stadium was played behind closed doors due to Covid, as was the Scottish Cup match against Rangers at Ibrox in April 2021.
A League Cup match between Cove and Hearts at Tynecastle in July 2021 was played in front of a reduced attendance of only 2,000 fans.
Hartley said: “It will be a hard game on Saturday, but everybody wants to get through to the next round.
“You want to be in the hat. You want to see who you might face, if you can get a big tie or you want to be at home to try and progress into the next round.
“It’s important for the club financially.
“We have missed out on games because of Covid and even when we went to Easter Road against Hibs, it wasn’t a great night for it. It was a Thursday night, the game was on the TV and there was around 5,000 there, so it set us back again.
“We’ve been to Tynecastle, Ibrox and had Hibs here so it would be nice if we could get a nice tie for the club financially.
“Every penny counts for all the clubs and especially for ourselves because of the hybrid and full-time model.
“If we can get through and get a good tie then you can maybe bring one or two players in in January to strengthen, and if we’re going well we can really have a good push for the second half of the season.”
Cove boss Hartley loves Scottish Cup
Hartley – who won the Scottish Cup with Hearts in 2006 and Celtic in 2007 – says he enjoys the “romance” of playing in the competition.
He said: “I love it. I’ve been fortunate to play in two finals in successive years and get two medals.
“I have always like the Scottish Cup, playing in it and as a manager. There is the romance of it and you always look to see who you are going to get in the draw.
“This is the third time this season we’ve played Stirling, so we know what we are up against. It’s away from home on a tight pitch, different surface (grass), but it’s a game we want to try and win at all costs.”
Cove are on a superb run of form, having won six League One games – with their last victory being against this weekend’s opponents Stirling – on the spin and are unbeaten in nine.
Hartley said: “It has been a team effort. That goes straight from the goalkeeper all the way through to the experienced and young players we’ve got here.
“You can see that all the hard work is starting to pay off, but there is still a long way to go. I am really pleased with the progress we have made so far.”
Cove skipper Mitch Megginson is suspended for the cup clash, due to a red card from last year’s competition carrying over, while Fraser Fyvie will be assessed ahead of the trip to Stirling after picking up a knock.