COVE Rangers manager John Sheran has warned his players they are going to have to continue to set high standards after enjoying a much needed mini break.
The Cove squad returned to training at Balmoral Stadium tonight after enjoying a full week's holiday in the wake of their 2-0 victory over Formartine United in the Breedon Highland League.
That result also saw Cove maintain a perfect start as they bid to defend their Highland title, with nine straight wins.
Boss John praised his men for that - but added he will be expecting more of the same when they resume their campaign, starting with Saturday's home clash with Keith.
John said: "Winning nine games in a row was way beyond what I had realistically expected when you look at some of the fixtures that had been put in front of us.
"It's a fantastic achievement by the players, especially when you consider we are running with a far tighter squad then last season and had people out injured at various stages of that run.
"That's done and dusted now, though.
"The players have already been told the challenge in front of them now is to see if they can win the next nine as well.
"It won't be easy, especially against Keith, who always make it difficult for us, home and away.
"But the players have set the standards so I will be looking for them to be maintained."
John bolstered his squad during their rest period by signing Montrose midfielder Ryan Ferguson on loan until January.
The 24-year-old  goes straight into the squad for Saturday's clash with Keith.
John said: "Ryan can play in a variety of positions, which will be a real asset when we have a squad as tight as ours is at the moment."
Defender Darryn Kelly will be available again after missing the victory over Formartine because he was away on honeymoon.
Manager John is hopeful short beak has allowed midfielder Ryan Strachan to recover from the niggling injuries that had hampered him in recent weeks be but full-back Harry Milne is suspended after being shown a red card during he clash with the men from Pitmedden.