DEREK Adams believes Richard Brittain will only thrive on the heat of his McDiarmid Park reception this weekend.
The Ross County captain can finally kick off his season tomorrow after serving a two-game suspension picked up on the pre-season tour of the Netherlands. There is no little irony in the venue of his return, given the long hot summer of acrimony with Saints over the cancelled pre-contract deal.
Brittain sparked anger and condemnation for attempting to back out of the agreement signed in January, despite later detailing the family reasons behind the move. Adams, though, pointed to Brittain’s last performance in Perth as proof he could cope with the occasion.
On County’s last visit, Brittain netted twice from the penalty spot in a 2-2 draw. Adams said: “Richie did well down there the last time and scored two goals, so I don’t think it will be any different for him this time. The atmosphere last time was hostile and it will be the same again this weekend.
“It helped Richard in the past and I’m sure it will be the same again on Saturday. He’s used to that experience and if he plays it won’t worry him one iota. It won’t faze him as he’s someone who has a strong mentality. He’s done well for Ross County over the years.”
Adams himself is unmoved by the backdrop of rancour, despite the likelihood of a hostile reaction from the Saints support. He stressed: “I don’t worry about that, I just get on with the football side and try to win matches.”
Adams has injury troubles which he preferred not to detail yesterday, but is delighted to have both Brittain and attacker Ivan Sproule free from bans.
He added: “Richie and Ivan let themselves down in pre-season and have had to deal with the consequences. It was very disappointing but I hope they channel their frustrations now.”