Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley insists League One is his side’s priority after watching them warm up for their Scottish Cup trip to Rangers on Sunday with a 2-0 win against Airdrie last night.
Jamie Masson came off the bench to score twice for the League Two champions to give them the victory their performance merited at Balmoral Stadium.
A glamour tie with the Premiership champions is next up for Cove and, while Hartley can understand the excitement among his squad, his focus is on league business.
“We’ve got to look at the fact we play Clyde 48 hours later on the Tuesday. We know we are not going to have possession for the majority of the game, but we have got to work hard and see where it takes us,” he said.
“I know about the romance of the cup and all that, but we have two games to think about.
“Some of the lads have never played there and they will be looking forward to it even if they won’t have fans there, but I’ve said all along the league is the most important thing for us.”
Hartley’s side dominated from start to finish against the Diamonds and should have won by more.
He said: “I thought we were good tonight, really good. I said to the lads with the amount of games we’ve got in the next couple of weeks that we will have to change things about and will need the whole squad.
“I’m pleased for Masson and it’s the reaction you are looking for. He scored two good goals and I thought we were worth it.
“It’s nice to get the three points. Some of our play was magnificent and the two goals were terrific.”
Airdrie goalkeeper Max Currie was forced into an early save to tip Fraser Fyvie’s 20-yard strike over the crossbar and from the resulting corner Scott Ross saw his header hit the post.
Fyvie struck the crossbar from 25 yards from a free-kick after captain Mitch Megginson had been fouled.
Fyvie had an appeal for a goal denied on the stroke of half-time when Currie saved his close-range effort from a Megginson cross on the line. It looked close, but Fyvie would have avoided any doubt had he connected properly.
Hartley sent on Masson in the hope of a breakthrough and he delivered within a minute of his arrival when he turned Scott Ross’s cross home from close range in the 65th minute.
Masson was clearly a man keen to make an impression and he doubled his side’s lead five minutes later with a close-range effort from Fyvie’s cross.
Airdrie enjoyed some late pressure on the Cove goal as they tried to find a way to get back into the game, but McKenzie was not troubled by the Diamonds attack.