ROSS County manager Derek Adams prepares for the crunch Scottish Premiership game against Kilmarnock in Dingwall today wishing he had someone like Rugby Park striker Kris Boyd in his side.
The 30-year-old forward has scored 19 goals this season for Kilmarnock who, with four games remaining, sit in ninth place, just two points ahead of County, who currently occupy the relegation play-off spot.
Adams refused to comment on reports that striker Yoann Arquin had disappeared for several days without explanation and also declined to talk about his touchline clash with Hearts’ Jamie Hamill, who has been charged with “excessive misconduct” after knocking Adams over during County’s defeat at Tynecastle last week. However, Adams did talk about former Rangers and Middlesbrough striker Boyd.
“He has been fantastic for Kilmarnock this season,” said Adams. “He has scored a lot of goals, won them a lot of points and that is the benefit of having a player of that talent. We would all love to have a Kris Boyd in our team but he chose to go to Kilmarnock.
“It is very tight [at the bottom] with Hibernian, Partick Thistle, St Mirren, ourselves and Kilmarnock. Three points separate us all, so we have to pick up as many points as we possibly can to finish in a good position.”
Adams is hoping his own striker Jordan Slew, the 21-year-old Englishman who arrived on loan from Blackburn in January, gets off the mark against the Ayrshire side. “He has done well since he came here, he has delivered. There are people with different abilities. Jordan will run with the ball and he will occupy defenders. He has done well in the games and helped us by taking us up the park, being strong and creating chances for other players. He obviously lacked getting that first goal and it’s something that he wants.”
Boyd’s fellow Kilmarnock forward Michael Gardyne is confident they have the quality and character to get out of relegation danger.
Killie had the chance to move six points clear of the relegation play-off spot last weekend but a 2-1 home defeat by Partick Thistle left them in the midst of a five-way battle. They can, however, open up a five-point lead over County in Dingwall today.
Gardyne said: “We have four massive games left and it doesn’t get much harder than going away to Ross County. But we have been looking good in training this week and we are feeling confident.
“There is a bit of pressure but, when it comes to a Saturday, you need to forget about that and just go and play your game. We’ve got the players and characters in there that can get us out of this.
“There are only three points between five teams so it could be anyone that goes in there. We need to make sure we are winning our games. It’s good for the fans but we need to make sure it’s good for us at the end of it.”
Gardyne helped County reach the top division but has no qualms about trying to send them back down.
The on-loan Dundee United player said: “I’m still in regular contact with a few of the boys but that goes out the window this week.”