Cove Rangers striker Leighton McIntosh feels the club are in good shape heading into their League One opener against Falkirk.
Cove ended their Premier Sports Cup campaign with a 3-1 win over Inverness, which came after a pre-season disrupted by Covid.
McIntosh got himself on the scoresheet in the game at the Balmoral Stadium and reckons they are in a confident mood ahead of this afternoon’s kick-off.
He told the club website: “It’s always good to open your account – but it was also good we played a lot better than we did in the previous game, at Peterhead.
“Everybody knows that’s definitely not how we normally perform, but you still have to show you can react positively out on the pitch.
“We were conceding too many goals and not being as clinical as we normally are at the other end. It was good that we were able to show in the Inverness game that we are better than that.
“Reacting as well as we did against Inverness will give us a lot of confidence as we prepare for that first league game of the season.
“It was important we did that because we know the opener against Falkirk is going to be among the toughest we will face in the league in the whole campaign.
“The gaffer spoke about how key momentum is before we played Inverness. We were determined to respond and make sure we faced Falkirk on the back of a positive result.”
Cove saw their pre-season disrupted by Covid, which forced the cancellation of three friendlies and a number of players into isolation.
It is a problem which has been faced to the extreme by today’s opponents Falkirk, who saw their request to have the game postponed turned down by the SPFL.
— Falkirk FC (@FalkirkFC) July 29, 2021
The Bairns got nine players out of self-isolation on Friday morning and a further five – all of whom had tested positive for Covid – back on the morning of the game, meaning they have had next to no preparation time as a team.
A club statement said they were playing the game “under duress” amid threat of disciplinary action, if they did not fulfil the fixture.
Despite recent circumstances, McIntosh hopes a sense of normality can resume with the start of the new season and he is heartened by the return of supporters.
He added: “Hopefully we can now look forward to a more normal season than the last one, where there were no fans and it was stop-start because of the pandemic.
“Having fans back at games is the biggest thing. It was strange having to play the whole of last season without fans in the stands.
“I’m sure the Cove supporters will make their presence known at the Falkirk game and we will be doing all that we can to make a positive start.”