Evening Express

Cove captain Watson raring to go in Irn-Bru Cup against Montrose

Eric Watson.

Cove Rangers captain Eric Watson is eager to get back into action at the heart of the defence – starting tonight in the Irn–Bru Challenge Cup against Montrose.

The skipper of the Highland League champions has spent the start of this season on the bench.

Watson will start this evening at the Balmoral Stadium in the first round of the Challenge Cup and is keen to get minutes under his belt.

He said: “I just need match fitness now.

“I missed a couple of weekends of pre-season with family holidays and stuff.

“But the guys that have come in have done really well so I can’t complain.

“But I am desperate to get some minutes to build up my own match fitness.

“We’ve got a lot of competition in defence with Scott Ross, Ryan Strachan, Darryn Kelly, Alan Redford and Harry Milne and I think those players would walk into any Highland League team.

“It is quite fierce competition, there’s six or seven of us vying for four places.

“It’s keeps us all on our toes and not everyone will be available all season so there will be chances for others.”

Watson believes Cove are underdogs tonight against the Gable Endies, who won League Two last season.

But he takes confidence from reaching the third round of this tournament last season and Cove’s recent win against Raith Rovers in the League Cup group stage.

He added: “They were a very good team last year, everyone expected them to fall away but they hung on and won the league.

“They’ll have a tough season up a division this year but they beat Airdrie on Saturday and they’ll be looking for a positive result against us.

“We’ve done well in the cups against SPFL teams, we beat Raith Rovers 2-0 and ran Hearts close (2-1 loss) in the League Cup.

“We look forward to this game, there’s not much expectation on us, the pressure is on Montrose to come up and turn us over.

“We enjoy being the underdog in these situations.”