Montrose (H) | Hartley Hopes To Keep Run Going

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Montrose (H) : Tuesday, November 14th, 7.45pm kick-off

With the team currently enjoying its longest unbeaten run since clinching the League One title in 2021/22, we take on our nearest challengers, Montrose, with the sides separated only by goal difference in the play-off places.

The victory over Kelty was our fourth in a row, and with a third clean sheet on the bounce it means Cove have not now tasted defeat in our last seven matches.

Paul Hartley was thrilled with the performance at New Central Park, and is looking for the guys to maintain their form at Balmoral Stadium:

“I really enjoyed how we played on Saturday, we dug in when we had to, and I felt we were always comfortable enough. We defended really well, and we carry a real threat on the counter with the pace we have. We’ve got a good balance right now, and we want that to continue.

“There’s always room for improvement, we know we can pass it a bit better, and the decision making can be better too, but overall, we’re in a good place.”

The team has been playing with an assurance that was not there previously, and the manager believes that is down to hours working together on the training pitch:

“Probably about a month ago, we were too loose, were giving away too many goals, but we’ve worked hard on our shape and organisation, found a set-up that is working for us with the quality we’ve got in the team, so credit has to go to the back line.”

The manager also pointed to the defensive work being done by the strikers and midfielders, and praised their contribution to the recent run.

Since returning from injury, Fraser Fyvie has been at the heart of that and put in another fine performance at Kelty. He sees this as a team coming together after all the changes in the summer:

“You have to be adaptable, you have to play a different game at times, and we’ve been doing that. We’ve been strong defensively and we’ve got forwards who can be a real danger to the opposition.

“We have reset after the disappointing start to the season and we are all focused on doing what we are capable of in every game.”

“This is a big week, there’s been a bit of rest and recovery since Saturday and we’re all looking forward to Montrose. With Stirling Albion coming up at the weekend, we’re all well aware of how important these two games could be.

“We are playing very much as a team, everyone trying to do their own jobs, but helping out the other guys too, and that’s the kind of attitude you need both in training, and for every match.”

The injury list has shortened in recent weeks, giving the gaffer more options, and after naming the same team against Kelty, he says he may have to alter things a little for this one:

“It’s been a hard run, and we’ve got a few niggles right now, so we may have to look at making a few changes, but I’ve got faith in the boys who have been on the bench, and if we have to call on them, I’ve got no doubt they’ll come in and do the jobs we expect of them.”

“Montrose have done well, they’ve bounced back after a tough start, so we know this will be another hard-fought ninety minutes, but that’s what this league is all about, and if we show the same form and commitment as we have, then we’ll have a good chance to keep the run going.

“Seven weeks ago, we were down near the bottom, so it has been a big recovery and we just need to keep believing in the process.”

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