Cove Rangers skipper Mitch Megginson feels his side’s impressive victory over Caley Thistle shows they will be ready for their League One opener against title favourites Falkirk.
Paul Hartley’s men ran out 3-1 winners against Inverness in their final Premier Sports Cup match, ending the Group A section on a high after opening with three successive defeats.
Cove previously encountered Covid-19 issues during pre-season and have continued to face a number of selection problems during the cup campaign, naming just three substitutes against Caley Jags.
Striker Megginson felt the win was the perfect way to respond to a below-par display in their 3-1 loss against Peterhead on Saturday, which he feels sets his side up for their intriguing opening day encounter with the Bairns next Saturday.
Megginson said: “I think we had a point to prove after Saturday.
“It is the worst we have been in a long time. I don’t think we could have played any worse.
“It has been difficult. A few of the boys came back right on the cusp of the Stirling game so we had no pre-season games, which you need.
“We were behind other teams and it was about getting fitness. We are used to winning a lot, but we have to look at the bigger picture.
“The focus is on the Falkirk game and this gives us a bit of confidence. We know what we are capable of on our day, the players we have got and the quality we have added.
“They are definitely favourites for the league with their squad and being full-time.
“I would expect them to be challenging at the end of the season, so what better way to start than to get the three points and to get a lead already.
“We will do our work and respect them, but they will know they will never get an easy game up here and hopefully we can get the three points.”
Cove were missing defenders Scott Ross and Daniel Higgins for the match against Inverness, with Hartley speaking of his desire to bring in fresh faces before the league season starts next weekend.
Megginson is confident the squad assembled at Balmoral Stadium will be a force to be reckoned with once all players are fully fit, with the former Aberdeen forward adding: “We have a good core and we have added experience. Robbie Leitch has come in and I thought he was excellent in the first 45 minutes. He was sharp and gave us something.
“When we get the numbers back we will be even stronger. We have added well and the more game time we have the more we will gel and realise how each other plays.
“It was more like us. From start to finish, the gameplan went like it should have.
“We pressed them high, we were dangerous and it was the way we played last season. I thought some of our play was excellent at times.
“We caused them problems and could have had a few more as well.
“It was more vibrant in the dressing room as you would expect.”
Cove reached the promotion play-offs in their first season in League One last term, only to suffer an extra-time defeat to Airdrieonians at the semi-final stage.
That disappointment has only served to fuel Megginson’s eagerness to contest for promotion again this term, with the 28-year-old adding: “We want to give ourselves an opportunity to get promoted. We want to go one better than last season.
“If it isn’t winning the league then it is being in the play-off spots.
“A successful season for us is giving ourselves an opportunity to get promoted, and anything other than we will be disappointed.”