Derek Adams urges Ross County players to push on
Ross County manager Derek Adams challenged his players to move into the top half of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League after winning the manager of the month award.
County secured victories over St Mirren and Hibernian in January as well as drawing against Dundee United at Tannadice.
Their 2-2 draw against Hearts last weekend stretched their unbeaten run to five matches and they could move into the top six of the SPL when they play Dundee at Dens Park tonight.
Victory would put them level on points with sixth-placed Aberdeen, who are two goals better off than the Dingwall side.
After collecting his award, Adams said: “I’m delighted. It just shows the good work the players have had over January. We had a very good month and after the winter break we came back and performed well.
“We want to keep on going and winning games and when we do that it’s great for the football club to get recognition.
“The players do the hard work on the park and the backroom staff work hard off the park and it’s good for myself and the club, it’s another award.”
Bottom club Dundee joined Irn-Bru First Division champions County in the SPL days before the season started, after the Rangers newco’s application to join the league was rejected, but 15 points separate the teams and Adams is looking up rather than down.
Adams, who fears winger Ivan Sproule will miss out again with a hamstring injury, added: “We are looking to stretch our unbeaten run and catch the teams above us. We can go level on points with Aberdeen, who are in sixth position, and leapfrog teams like Kilmarnock and Hearts, and that’s what we are looking to do.”
Dundee go into the game on form, having won 5-1 against Morton on Sunday to set up a city derby in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-finals.
Adams said: “They came off a very good victory against a team that are top of the First Division.
“To score five goals in any game is great, but to do it against a team doing particularly well in the First Division, they will be in a confident frame of mind and feel they can score. But we are coming off very good performances in the SPL and we are looking to go there and win.”
Dundee manager Barry Smith – well aware that the Dees have a 14-point gap to cut at the foot of the table in their attempt to stave off the threat of relegation – insists the onus is on his side to break down County.
“County will come here and try to keep things tight so it will be up to us to get the better of them,” Smith said.
“They’ve proved this season that they can be a very difficult side to break down away from home. All credit to them for that, but we’re the home team, and we’ll be looking to go out there and get a positive result against one of the teams around about us in the table. It will be a very difficult match, but we have to believe we can do it and I have faith in these players.”
Dundee are desperate to make up some much-needed ground in their fight for survival, but Smith has played down talk of tonight’s game being must-win for the Taysiders.
He said: “Every game is big for us between now and the end of the season It’s been like that all season. There is no more added pressure going into this game than there has been in any other one. The players have had a good week’s training so are really looking forward to the game.”
Dundee are still without long-term injured players such as captain Stephen O’Donnell (knee), Mark Kerr (knee), Davide Grassi (knee), Jamie McCluskey (Achilles) and Carl Finnegan (knee), but midfielder Gary Harkins returns to the squad.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South