COVE BOSS JOHN LOOKING FORWARD TO ANOTHER PRE-CHRISTMAS CRACKER AT VICTORIA PARK
COVE Rangers manager John Sheran has warned his players to be ready for a hot reception when go head to head with Buckie Thistle this weekend.
Cove travel to Victoria Park on Saturday to take on the Moray men in the Breedon Highland League.
John admitted away clashes with the Jags are always "feisty" occasions
"I've always enjoyed our trips up there," said the Cove boss, who is hoping for a double injury boost with the return of top scorer Mitch Megginson and star defender Darryn Kelly, who have been sidelined by injuries.
"It's strange how the Highland League seem to like sending us to Victoria Park during the festive season, it seems to happen a lot.
"Maybe it's because the matches always tend to be real Christmas crackers.
"The Buckie punters will be out in full force, so the atmosphere is sure to be impressive.
"They will try to intimidate our lads in what is always a tough game anyway.
"It's up to them to show the can handle that, I know that sort of thing used to inspire me when I was a player.
"The hotter and more intimidating the atmosphere the more determined I was to do all I could to help silence the home crowd.
"Hopefully we will be able to do that this weekend, but it won't be easy."
Megginson has been sidelined by a thigh injury and Kelly a torn hamstring.
John admitted it would be a bonus if the duo could make it back in time to do battle with Buckie.
He said: "They have a fighting chance which is better than none at all.
"Mitch has been able to train this week so should be fine.
"DK will be borderline but it's pleasing he is at least in contention to return, if not for this game then the one after.
"We feared he might be out a longer when he suffered the hamstring injury.
"I would love to have them back involved but we won't take any unnecessary risks, they will only play if I'm convinced they are 100% ready."
Cove's home clash with Rothes last weekend was called off just over an hour before kick-off because of high winds. John applauded the match officials for "doing the right thing."
"It would have been farcical to even attempt to play in those conditions so well done to the referee for making the right decision," he added.
Cove lost their last league match, 1-0 away to Fraserburgh, because they conceded a goal inside the opening 30 seconds.
John is demanding they make a stronger start up at Buckie.
"It's a rarity for any side lose a goal inside the first 30 seconds," he said.
"We weren't helped by the fact Broch got a couple of lucky breaks after the ball was played up into our area.
"But the boys have been told it's vital we don't give Buckie any encouragement by conceding early to them as well.
"They need to be right up for it from the first whistle, and I'm confident they wil be."