PAUL HARTLEY insists Cove will dare to dream as they bid for a fairytale Scottish Cup win over Rangers this weekend.

The League One side make the trip to Ibrox on Sunday aiming to become only the second Scottish outfit to beat the Premiership champions this term.

St Mirren ended Steven Gerrard's ambitions of landing the Betfred Cup with a shock victory in December and Slavia Prague are the only other side to beat Rangers as they have stormed to the Premiership title.

And Hartley is fully aware of the task that lies ahead for his side as Cove look to upset the odds and write their name in the history books by overcoming the champions on home soil.

HeraldScotland: Rangers manager Steven Gerrard

Hartley said: “It is a big challenge for us. The way Rangers have gone domestically and in Europe, it doesn’t matter what team they had out, all their players know the style and system they play.

“They are undefeated in the league and it is a big challenge to the players and me as a manager. I will come up to Steven Gerrard for the first time and they have taken two or three years to get to where they are just now.

“You can see the way they play and everybody can see how they play. He said, after the league was wrapped up that he was going for the Scottish Cup.

“We will be up against it on Sunday, there is no doubt about that. We just have to go there and give it our best shot and pretty organised.

“We have some good players here and we play in a certain style. When we get a hold of the ball we need to try and be positive with it.”

Cove have a place in the Championship in their sights this season as they attempt to continue their rise and rise by clinching promotion from the third tier in the coming weeks.

HeraldScotland: Paul Hartley at Alloa FC attending the Mental Health and Wellbeing League event

Hartley's side are second in the table behind Falkirk at present and the former Scotland midfielder is frustrated Cove won't bank a significant pay-day from a dream Scottish Cup draw.

Hartley said: “We can always dream but everything has to go your way. You need to have real luck, take your opportunities, defend well and have everybody on their A game.

“In cup football, who knows what can happen? But, I am more concerned about going there, being really organised and making it difficult for Rangers.


“Let the players go with a little bit of freedom if they can. Quite a few of them have never played there before and the disappointment for the players is that there will be no fans there.

“Also financially for the club, what we would have made out of the game in any other circumstances if we had got fans back in.

“It would have been a lot of money and we are having to spend a lot of money with the protocols and testing once a week.”