Harry Milne says sitting top of League Two heading into 2020 is a fantastic reward for Cove Rangers’ hard work in the first half of the season.
At the halfway point of their debut season in the SPFL, the Granite City side are two points clear of Edinburgh City at the summit.
When their maiden League Two campaign began the Highland League champions’ objective was only to survive in Scotland’s fourth tier.
However, Paul Hartley’s men have taken League Two by storm and Milne hopes they can keep setting the pace at the top in 2020, having lost just three matches out of 18 so far.
The left-back said: “We’re all delighted to be sitting top of the table. We expected to do better in the league than some folk initially thought.
“But to be top after 18 games is a fantastic return. We have lost a few games and drawn one as well.
“We should have taken something from most of those games as well, so we probably should have more points.
“We just want to keep pushing on now and keep improving.
“If Declan Glass goes back to Dundee United (his loan from the Tangerines expires in mid-January) then it’s not good for the team, but I’m sure the manager will be looking to get a couple of boys in to strengthen the squad again.
“It’s a really good quality squad that we’ve got and no matter who is playing we can cause anyone problems.”
Having helped Cove win promotion to the SPFL as well as the Highland League over the last 12 months, Milne regards 2019 as the best of his career.
Reflecting on the year, he added: “I would say it’s been the best year of my career. Last season every single person played well to win us the league and then get us promoted.
“For myself it was as good a season as any of the others I’ve had at Cove and the way we’ve started this season in League Two and the points we’ve got means it has to be the best year of my career.”
Milne made his comeback after a month out with a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Elgin City.
While he was on the sidelines Cove recruited former Watford defender Tom Leighton, however, Milne is relishing the increased competition to keep his place.
He said: “I was out for four weeks and it was a bad time to get injured so I was chuffed to be back.
“I got almost 80 minutes and I think everybody could see I was a bit tired towards the end.
“My usual game is trying to get up and down the wing, but later on I couldn’t get forward to support Jamie Masson as much as I should.
“I was pleased with what I managed to do on Saturday. I boosted my match fitness, so hopefully I play again on Saturday against Brechin.
“There’s competition for places in every position and Tom signing adds to that.
“It gives everybody extra motivation because most folk in the team can play a variety of positions, so it pushes everyone on to try to improve and keep their place in the team.”