Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley is pleased to have bolstered his squad by signing Daniel Higgins ahead of tonight’s game with Dundee.
The Highland League champions signed the 21-year-old ahead of their clash with the Championship outfit in the Betfred League group stage.
The former Celtic and Dundee player has agreed a one-year contract with Cove after leaving Kilmarnock.
Hartley worked with Higgins, who can play in defence or midfield, at previous club Dundee.
He said: “Daniel is a player I have the very highest regard for and he will be a huge asset to us.
“I handed him his first team debut against Hearts at Tynecastle and, even though he was still a young lad, Daniel was the man of the match.
“I brought him to Dundee from Celtic, so he’s had an excellent schooling in the game.
“Daniel also spent the last two years with Kilmarnock and played on loan at Airdrie and Stranraer last season.
“So he has plenty of SPFL experience, despite the fact he’s still only 21.
“He is very comfortable on the ball and can perform at high levels in a variety of positions, which will be great with a squad as tight as ours is at the moment.
“Other clubs were interested in Daniel so I’m really pleased and I am looking forward to working with him again.”
Cove are the underdogs against Hartley’s former club this evening – but the Granite City gaffer insists his side will make it difficult for Dee.
Cove started Group D with Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Peterhead and Hartley said: “I think every team we face in the Betfred Cup is expected to beat us.
“We showed on Saturday we can compete and we’ve got to show that again tonight.
“We’ve got to show that we won’t be turned over easily. We’ll be well organised, well drilled and we know we’re against a good team with good players.
“We need to make life as difficult as we can for Dundee when we’re out of possession. And when we’re in possession hopefully we can cause them problems.
“We just have to give a good account of ourselves – if we get a result, fantastic. But we won’t be judged on the Betfred Cup – all our thoughts are on the first league game of the season.”
Hartley managed Dundee from February 2014 to April 2017, a spell which included promotion to the Premiership and finishing in the top six.
Hartley also gave current Dee boss James McPake his first chance as a coach with the under-20s when he was out injured. Hartley added: “I enjoyed my three years there.
“It didn’t end as I would have liked, but I’ve got no bitterness towards Dundee and the fans were always great to me.
“We gave James his first opportunity at Dundee.
“We signed him, he had a bad injury and we looked after him.
“We gave him the opportunity to work with the under-20s and then he worked with the first team.
“Now he’s been given a great opportunity and I’m sure James will thrive on that.
“He’s building a good squad of players and I look forward to seeing him.”
Mitch Megginson, Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman and Alan Redford are all set to miss tonight’s game.