Paul Hartley insists Cove Rangers can challenge Championship side Alloa Athletic in today’s Scottish Cup tie.
Cove will go into the game as underdogs, being in the division below Alloa, but they have overcome a difficult spell to reassert themselves at the top end of League One.
In the last two seasons, Cove’s adventure in the Scottish Cup has ended early, being knocked out by Auchinleck Talbot in both seasons.
However, they are now a third-tier side in the Scottish pyramid and are only three places below the Wasps, who are second-bottom of the Championship.
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) January 5, 2021
Cove boss Hartley said: “You want to try and get through. We’ve always said the league is the most important and we’re going up against a really good team.
“They’re one of the best footballing teams in the division. They’ve got a lot of good players and I’ve seen a lot of Alloa over the last wee while.
“We’re capable of beating anybody. We’ve got to make sure we’re at it and organised. We’ll go down there and give them a good game.
“If we can do what we’ve been doing the last few games, being hard to beat and getting clean sheets, we’ve got a chance.”
Cove’s wins over Peterhead and Forfar Athletic have eased the worry at the Balmoral Stadium, after a run of five games without a victory.
Hartley is pleased with how his side came through the festive period, with two clean sheets and minimal injury concerns.
He added: “We’re trying to keep players as right as we can. We had a couple of knocks after the game last weekend.
“The two wins were really important for us – it gets your momentum going. You always think of the Christmas and New Year period as really important to try come through it unscathed, with as many points as you can.”