ROSS County manager Derek Adams knows just how much Hearts will miss suspended Ryan Stevenson when they visit Dingwall on Scottish Premiership duty this afternoon – because he has tried to sign the player on several occasions.
The 29-year-old forward was red carded in last week’s 3-3 draw with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, after an altercation with Saints keeper Alan Mannus, and will serve a two-match ban which is another blow to the administration-hit Gorgie club, who are enduring a miserable season.
The Tynecastle side are rooted to the bottom of the table, 21 points behind Partick Thistle and heading towards relegation.
However, while Adams admits Hearts manager Gary Locke will be without one of his best and most experienced players for the trip north, the Staggies boss, whose side are unbeaten since the turn of the year with three wins and a draw, insists the Tynecastle men showed last week – and sporadically through the season – that they are capable of taking on the best on their day.
He said: “They have got good quality within the squad. They have beaten Aberdeen twice this season, that shows you what they can do.
“They are obviously going to miss Ryan Stevenson, a player I have tried to sign a few times in my time at Ross County. But they have got a great attitude within their squad and they have got a desire.
“They showed that last week against St Johnstone. To be 3-1 down and finish 3-3, they have shown that they are fearless and that’s what you get with young players.
“They are in a difficult situation, it has not been an easy situation for them, but we want to keep the unbeaten run we have had in January.”