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16/09/22

Cove Ready For Jags Challenge

Cove Rangers are back in action tomorrow afternoon with a trip to Firhill to take on Partick Thistle.

Ian McCall’s side are on a good run of form, having won three cinch Championship matches in a row following their loss at Queen’s Park last month, and having progressed to the quarter finals of the Premier Sports Cup.

They have also put together an impressive sequence of results at home, where only Hamilton have avoided defeat this season.

It is only the fifth time the clubs have met.

Thistle narrowly won a Scottish Cup tie back in 2012, but we are unbeaten in the three previous league meetings, with two draws and a 1-0 victory at Balmoral during the truncated 2020/21 League One campaign.

There have been big changes to both teams since then, with the Glasgow outfit recruiting heavily during the summer, and they currently sit just a point behind the early pacesetters, Ayr United.

Boss Jim McIntyre knows this is one of the biggest challenges we will face this season:

“They’re a strong team, and they’re on a decent run right now, but these are the games you get promoted to play in. You want to test yourself.

“Training has gone well this week, so we’re ready for it.

“Blair Yule managed to take part, he had two full sessions and suffered no ill-effects, so the jab in the ankle seems to have worked. This one comes a little too early for him, but he’ll be in the frame for the Raith cup-tie next weekend.

“Gerry McDonagh is due back next week, so we’ll see how his wrist is then.”

The match will see recent loan signings Max Johnston from Motherwell, and Kyle McClelland from Hibernian, involved for the first time, and Kyle says he cannot wait to get out on to the park in a Cove shirt:

“They’re a great bunch of boys, they’ve made me really welcome, and now it’s all about getting some game time.

“I’d been out on loan with Falkirk before, went up against Cove, and liked how they played. I’m the sort of defender who likes having the ball at his feet, I’m happy to play out, but also to do the defending, the dirty work.

“I feel as if I have the attributes to fit into the team, now I just need the chance to go out and prove it.

“The Championship is a good level, it’s perfect for me to try to gain experience and move on in my career, and games like this one against Thistle are exactly the sort I can test myself in.”

The manager has the rare luxury of a bigger squad to choose from, and with only Blair and Gerry missing, will have a full complement of nine substitutes on the bench for the first time this season.

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