Fraser Fyvie interview: Cove Rangers being underdogs for once, PPE sales and playing at Ibrox

Cove Rangers don’t go into many games as the underdogs after dominating the Highland League and cruising to the League Two title last year – but they will be far from favourites on Sunday against Rangers.

Cove Rangers Fraser Fyvie, manager Paul Hartley and Mitch Megginson warm up ahead of the Scottish Cup tie between Alloa Athletic and Cove Rangers at The Indodrill Stadium, on January 09, 2021, in Alloa, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

That, it seems, should suit Fraser Fyvie.

An FA Cup winner in 2013 when he and his unfancied Wigan Athletic team-mates overcame the might of Manchester City at Wembley, the midfielder followed it up three years later when he helped Hibs end their infamous 114-year Scottish Cup hoodoo by defeating Rangers at Hampden.

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The same competition has paired Fyvie and Cove Rangers with the newly crowned Scottish champions this year, and he is again the outsider, describing Cove as “major underdogs” at Ibrox on Sunday evening.

Cove Rangers Fraser Fyvie in action during a Scottish Cup tie between Alloa Athletic and Cove Rangers at The Indodrill Stadium, on January 09, 2021, in Alloa, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

However, Fyvie adds: “It’s a cup game, anything can happen,” and can prove it after his previous successes. The gulf between Rangers and their namesakes from Aberdeenshire is quite a bit more significant than those previously overcome in his past upsets, which does take the pressure off to some extent: “I think we go into this game pretty relaxed. It’s a free hit against the best team in the country. They are expected to win.”

Usually, it’s the other way round. After powering to the League Two title on their first season in the SPFL proper, Cove were ranked among the pre-season promotion prospects for League One and have lived up to their billing – sitting second in the division, four points off the top.

Paul Hartley’s team head to Ibrox relaxed, but confident they can kick on, with Fyvie insisting they were underdogs at the start of the league campaign too.

“The main aim for the club this year was to make sure we were in League One next season,” he explained. “Obviously we have now found ourselves in a spot where we could possibly go and get promotion. Falkirk are definitely the favourites and Partick Thistle are the other full-time team you would expect to be up there too. Being part-time it would be a push for us but we’ve put ourselves in a good position.

Cove's Fraser Fyvie before a Betfred Cup match between Cove Rangers and Hibernian at Balmoral Stadium, on October 10, 2020, in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

"But yes, we are used to going and winning games and if we put in a good performance that will give us a bit of confidence. We are playing against the best players in the country, so it’s going to be a tough job.”

And Fyvie knows all about tough jobs. After leaving full-time football he took up a job in sales – and the PPE market has been particularly busy during the coronavirus pandemic. He has been kept occupied even when off on furlough from football, but like many in the lower leagues he’s just glad to be back playing again.

"The transition from full-time to working nine-to-five plus playing is not easy, but I am enjoying myself at Cove. It’s a good club to be at. We are trying to really build something.

“The chairman is really ambitious, as are the people behind him. It’s a real forward-thinking club – everything is there for us to do well as players. The club go out of their way to do things for us. They treat it like a full-time operation.

"We will be up against it, but going to Ibrox is good for the club and everybody involved.”

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