‘Cove Rangers showed ambition with signing of Paul Hartley’

Winger Daniel Park says Paul Hartley has discussed his plans for Cove
Winger Daniel Park says Paul Hartley has discussed his plans for Cove

Daniel Park believes Cove Rangers have made a statement of intent by bringing in Paul Hartley as their new manager.

The former Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts and Scotland midfielder has taken the reins at the Balmoral Stadium ahead of their debut campaign as an SPFL club in League Two.

Park believes it’s great that the Highland League champions have managed to attract someone with Hartley’s pedigree and standing in Scottish football.

The winger said said: “It’s a bit of a statement from the club really because we saw the reaction after he was announced as manager.

“Everyone was picking it up and Paul Hartley is a big name within Scottish football in the last 20 years playing for Hearts, Aberdeen, Celtic and Scotland.

“He’s got a good managerial pedigree as well and I think it definitely is a statement from the club.

“We’re not getting carried away. We’re in League Two which is new to us and it will be tough for us, but we’re looking forward to it.

“Every player here knows they need to up their game to try to impress because it’s a clean start.

“You’ve got to be on your game, working hard, listening to the new management team and adopting their ideas.

“Everyone has the right mindset and is working hard in training and games so hopefully we can gel this season like we have the last few years.

“The management team have said they won’t make wholesale changes, although if we’re not performing they will be need to do something.

“But with one or two signings I think we’ll be fine.”

Although Hartley was only appointed last Wednesday Park says he has spoken to the Cove squad and laid out his hopes and plans for the coming campaign.

He added: “We came in last Thursday after the Inverurie (2-1 win) game last Wednesday and had a discussion.

“We discussed some plans and they said what they were expecting from us and it’s been good.

“It’s been well-received, they are experienced guys who have played and managed at the highest level in Scotland. They know what they’re doing and we’re buying into it.”

After watching last Wednesday’s 2-1 friendly win over Inverurie Locos from the stand Hartley was in the dugout for Saturday’s 2-1 success over League One Montrose.

Cove face another League One outfit in Forfar Athletic this evening at Station Park.

Park has been pleased with their return to pre-season action and feels there are already subtle differences in Cove’s play under the new manager.

He said: “It’s been good to get back into the games and we’ve got a new management team which is exciting.

“In the last two games we’ve played well and it almost feels like we’ve never really been away which is good.

“The difference that the guys have made already since coming in last week is clear.

“We’re a bit more organised and playing slightly differently so it’s been good.

“Saturday was the first showing under the new management team.

“We know we’ll improve from there and although there will be ups and downs if we’re organised and work hard I think we’ll be fine.”