Paul Hartley took charge of Cove Rangers for the first time on Saturday and says he is “loving” being back in management.
The former Alloa, Dundee and Falkirk gaffer saw his new side beat League One Montrose 2-1 at the Balmoral Stadium, courtesy of a double from sub Martin Scott.
The 42-year-old was appointed by the Balmoral Stadium outfit last week, returning to the dugout after leaving the Bairns last August.
Hartley, a former Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts and Scotland midfielder, said: “I’m loving it, it’s a great set-up and I’m working with great people. The players have been committed and I’m hopeful we’ll keep improving.
“We haven’t had any training sessions, but we’ve had a meeting about what we want to do and how we want to play.
“As the weeks go on hopefully we’ll get better. The important thing for us is getting plenty of minutes and being as flat out as you can. We’ve not had a lot of time with the players so the next couple of games will be like that.
“Hopefully, the players are buying into what I want to do because that’s all you can ask – that the players buy into it.
“Hopefully, we’ll keep improving and we’ll do more conditioning work. It was really important we hit the ground running in this first game and we did.”
One of the first decisions Hartley has made is choosing Mitch Megginson as captain.
The striker wore the armband last term when Eric Watson was not playing, but now Watson has left, Hartley is happy to make Megginson captain.
He added: “He’s an experienced player and somebody I know well. I’ve worked with him at Alloa and Aberdeen and he’s done really well over the last couple of seasons.”
After an absorbing first half ended goalless, Cove took the lead on 51 minutes when Jamie Masson’s shot was parried by Montrose keeper Aaron Lennox and half-time sub SCOTT turned home the rebound from close range.
Just after the hour SCOTT made it 2-0, netting from the penalty spot after being tripped by Patrick Cregg.
The Gable Endies got one back late on when Stuart McKenzie saved Lewis Milne’s shot, but Andrew STEEVES followed up and headed home.
After starting in last Wednesday’s 2-1 friendly win over Inverurie Locos, Hartley gave trialist Nathan Mears 15 minutes as a sub on Saturday.
He said: “He’s somebody that’s come in from Dundee on trial. He did okay and we’ll have another look at him tomorrow against Forfar.”
Elsewhere on Saturday, Formartine United drew 1-1 with East Superleague junior champions Lochee United.
Huntly thumped Aberdeen Junior outfit Glentanar 7-0, Keith beat Islavale 5-0 and Buckie Thistle won 3-0 against a young Ross County side.