Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley has called on his players to keep taking the pressure off leading scorer Rumarn Burrell.
Summer signing Burrell continued his rich vein of form with two goals in Cove’s 7-2 victory against Edinburgh City last weekend.
Blair Yule and Kyle Connell also scored doubles of their own, while Connor Scully was also on the scoresheet against City in what was the perfect response to the 2-1 defeat by Hamilton in their previous outing.
Burrell’s tally for the campaign has rocketed to 18 goals following his purple patch in front of goal, but the Cove boss is pleased to see other players sharing the burden.
Hartley said: “We played well and scored a lot of good goals after a pleasing performance.
“It was just the response we wanted.
“The burden has been on Rumarn for the majority of the last quarter so it was nice for the midfielders to score.
“Connall, too, has had to wait a long time so it was pleasing to see him get a couple.
“We played some really good football and it’s important we spread the goals out.
“You can’t just rely on one player. If you look at Lawrence Shankland on Wednesday in the Edinburgh derby – he’s the go-to man at Hearts, but you need others to chip in with goals.”
Chance for Cove to increase the gap in third place
Following their victory against Edinburgh, Cove are seven points clear of fourth-placed Montrose in League One.
They face the Mighty Mo at Links Park today in their final game of 2023.
Hartley knows victory will ensure his side increase their lead on the chasing pack, but is taking nothing for granted against Stewart Petrie’s side.
He said: “The plan is to go there and be positive and try to win the game.
“Our form over the last three months has been excellent in terms of goals scored and wins.
“But Montrose is always a tricky, tight game for us – this is the fourth time we’ve faced them this season and we know we will be in for a tough game down there.
“If we can win it will give us a wee bit of breathing space between ourselves and the other teams behind us.”
‘We’re looking forward to 2024’
It was a summer of change at Balmoral Stadium with 21 new arrivals at the club.
This afternoon’s match marks the halfway point of the league campaign, and the Cove boss is satisfied with the progress being made by his side.
Hartley said: “The club was in transition after not staying in the Championship and we had to regroup and rebuild after going full-time in the summer.
“But things have settled down now and we knew it would. The hybrid model is working for us and it is showing in the results we’ve been getting.
“We’re a lot better from where we started and we’re looking forward to 2024.”
Paul McGowan, who missed the victory over Edinburgh due to a sickness bug, and Josh Kerr, who was suspended, are back in the squad for the trip to Links Park.