DEREK Adams is not priming his players for a First Division title party today – and wants to finish the season with six of the best.
Despite a 27-game unbeaten run, the Ross County manager feels aggrieved the Dingwall side does not have a higher points tally than the current 63 they enjoy.
While victory over Livingston at Almondvale and a slip by Dundee against Falkirk would seal an historic SPL place, the tunnel-visioned Adams has only one focus.
He said: “I do feel we should have more points than we do. We have six games left to go – and we are going to go for it. It would be terrific for the club to remain unbeaten through to the end of the season and great for our players’ CVs too.
“As far as the title is concerned, we need four points – that’s our target and our aim. Whatever happens anywhere else, happens. But we want to keep the run going all the way to the end of the season and I feel we are capable of doing that.”
It is 18 years since County took their first faltering steps in the Scottish League after a surprise joint victory with Caley Thistle in the admission vote. At least 700 County fans are expected to follow the team to Livingston today and Adams believes that can be a major positive.
He said: “We had good backing at Dens and at Partick Thistle recently, but the numbers expected to follow us to Livingston are tremendous. It will give the players a huge lift just hearing the fans singing and shouting. The players feed off that atmosphere exceptionally well and it’s exactly what we need.”
Clinching title glory at Livingston would be strangely fitting for a good bulk of the County squad. A number of the Staggies side either started their careers at Almondvale or played there for a spell, including Richard Brittain, Scott Boyd, Steven Craig, Gary Miller, Colin McMenamin, Sam Morrow, Rocco Quinn and Adams himself.
The County manager said: “It’s true there are a lot of players here who have played for Livingston in their careers, including myself.
“There are a lot of players here who have been at other clubs and been discarded, before picking themselves up at Ross County. What I’ve tried to do is take them in, give them back confidence, regenerate and make them believe in themselves again.”
County have twice beaten Livingston 3-0, while drawing the other clash. Only David McNamee is injured for the Highlanders, with top scorer McMenamin fit again. Adams, though, is taking nothing for granted against his old club. He said: “Livingston are the second highest scorers in the league and have the second highest goals against. They will certainly not want us to go down there and win the game.”
County are not the only ones who can lift a title today. Alloa will be crowned Third Division champions if Paul Hartley’s side defeat Elgin City at Recreation Park and second-placed Stranraer fail to win at Clyde.