Paul Hartley insists there will be no rushed decisions as he seeks to strengthen his Cove Rangers squad for next season.
Hartley is on the look0ut for players to help Cove build on their third-place finish in League One, with several gaps in the squad to fill.
With five loan players – Kieran Ngwenya, Kevin Hanratty, Connor Smith, Cammy Logan and Ross Graham – returning to their parent clubs and potential exits within the squad, Cove will bring in new faces.
Earlier this week they tied up squad regulars Fraser Fyvie, Stuart McKenzie, Connor Scully and Blair Yule on new contracts, until the summer of 2023.
The Cove boss is aware of the areas he needs to strengthen and while progress is being made, he is in no hurry.
Hartley said: “We need a few players in because the loan players going back, that takes your numbers down a wee bit. We’re looking to add quality over the next few weeks but it’s not something we’ll rush into.
“There’s certain areas of the pitch where we feel we can get a little bit stronger. We’ll have a look and see what we can bring in.
“The style that we have and the quality we have in the squad (can attract players); sometimes the location is a bit difficult to get players in but we’ll always try our best.
“We’ll look at the loan market, where we’ve had some good players before. You don’t always get the targets you want, that’s just the way it is. A lot of clubs are fighting for the same players.
“We want to improve the squad but we’ll take our time with things.”
Yule, Scully and McKenzie are stalwarts at Cove from the club’s days in the Highland League, while Fyvie joined the club for their ascension to the SPFL in 2019.
We are delighted to confirm four players have agreed new two year contracts with the club.
Stuart McKenzie, Connor Scully, Blair Yule & Fraser Fyvie have penned deals that will keep them at Balmoral Stadium until at least the end of season 2022/23 👇 https://t.co/jnlRvpT2qW
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) May 24, 2021
It helps the Aberdeen outfit retain the core of the squad which has carried them up the leagues in recent season, with Hartley challenging them to maintain the levels of consistency they have shown.
He added: “We’ve got a decent amount contracted until the end of next season so it was pleasing to get the boys signed up.
“They’ve all played their part in different ways and have got to continue with the standards that they’ve set. You can’t take your foot off it.
“Fraser enjoys playing football. He’s a good professional and sets himself high standards. It’s been a change in his career over the last couple of years but he’s coped with it well.
“Connor and Blair have been there for a number of years and the transition from the Highland League to League Two, then League Two to League One, they’ve stepped up to the plate. But they’ve got to continue to show the high standards – you can’t take anything for granted and it’s up to them to keep the levels of consistency up.”