COVE BOSS EAGER TO MAKE HEADLINES FOR RIGHT REASONS IN EVENING EXPRESS ABERDEENSHIRE CUP
COVE Rangers manager John Sheran has challenged his men to see if they can finally end the club's dismal run in the Evening Express Aberdeenshire Cup this season.
Cove face Deveronvale at Princess Royal Park on Wednesday night in the semis of a competition they haven't won for eight years ....and have come out on top in only twice in their history.
John has also suffered defeat in three finals, including the last two, during his two spells as boss of Cove.
He admitted he would love to see his and the club's Aberdeenshire Cup record finally take a turn for the better this term.
"We have a very tough match ahead of us at Banff to deal with first," said John.
"But when you get to this stage of any competition you can't help wondering what it would be like to actually win it.
"It will be the same for Deveronvake and the two sides in the other semi-final."
Cove's first triumph in the competition was in season 2001-02, when club legend Doug Baxter was skipper and led them to penalty shoot-out victory over Vale in the final at Pittodrie.
Their only other victory was in season 2010-11, when they got the better of Buckie Thistle in the final at Harlaw Park, Inverurie.
John said: "The opportunity to do better in the competition than we have tended to in the past should certainly act as an extra incentive.
"You only need to look at the record books to see Cove's record has been pretty poor, despite reaching a good few finals.
"It hasn't always gone our way in those finals but we are now 90 minutes away from getting another chance to put that right.
"We always set out to try and win every competition that we enter, so it would be nice to get to another final.
"But we will be up against opponents who are more than capable of preventing us from doing that.
"Every game against Deveronvale last season was close and hard fought.
"I'm expecting this week's one to be exactly the same, even more so because they will be coming out determined to make up for their disappointing result last weekend (Vale lost 3-0 at home to Buckie Thistle in the Breedon Highland League).
"You can be sure their players will be desperate to bounce back from that, we are going to have to be at our best if we are to cope."
Cove go into the semi boosted by the fact they still have a 100% record in the Breedon Highland League, after eight games, although it took a late Jamie Masson goal to earn them a 3-2 win away to Strathspey Thistle on Saturday.
John said: "Victories breed confidence, so I'm very pleased with the start we have mad so far.
"I was particularly proud of the character shown by the players to come back from behind twice and still win.
"We had a number of chances to score ourselves but were then caught on the break by Strathspey a couple of times.
"It's great that we were able to still come back and claim the three points I was quick to remind the players they might not always get that opportunity.
"Hopefully they will have learned from that match and we will be a bit more ruthless in front of goal from here on.
"As I've said, it's good that we have made a good start to our campaign, but it's always about the next match for us and showing we can maintain that over the course of what we all know is going to be a long, very tough, campaign."
Cove have a couple of injury doubts for the tie, but John hopes to field as near to a full strength side as possible.
He said: "We've had to do a bit of chopping and changing from game to game already, but those were mostly dictated by injuries.
"It's been pretty testing because we are working with a slightly smaller squad than we've had in the past.
"It's been a case of assessing who's fit - and looking the fittest from those who are available - and sending them out to do their best.
"It was encouraging that Scott Ross managed to get his first run-out in the league at Strathspey.
"Ryan Strachan is also making good progress after being ordered to rest after suffering an Achilles injury and Cammy Milne is available again too, so it's good to have a few more options to pick from this time"