Ross County: Derek Adams targets win in Paisley

Derek Adams. Picture: SNS
Derek Adams. Picture: SNS
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ROSS County manager Derek Adams has refused to read too much into their position in the Scottish Premiership so early in the season.

The Highlanders head into today’s rearranged clash with St Mirren sitting tenth in the table and still seeking their first win away from home.

But Adams believes one look at the league standings this time last year shows how much fortunes can change by the end of the campaign. He said: “If you look at the league table from last season at this time, you would have had Hibernian, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock all in the top six. Those three teams finished in the bottom six. It’s too early to say anything along these lines.

“From our point of view, we’ve got two games in hand over a lot of the teams above us. We have to try to win this match and want to move ahead of Partick and St Mirren.”

A 2-0 win over Saints would be enough for County to do just that and Adams was happy for the rearranged fixture to take place as soon as possible. He said: “We took the opportunity to play this weekend. St Mirren asked us if we would be keen to do it and I felt it was right because we don’t want to have a stop-start season. We’ve had that so far with international breaks and two abandoned games.”

Saints were leading by two goals when the initial fixture was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch after 52 minutes.

Adams added: “We started the game relatively well against St Mirren. We created a couple of opportunities and we didn’t take them. We made a mistake for the first goal and that set us back. In the second half, we started to show a bit of forward momentum and we were unfortunate not to score. We will go there and attack and try to win the match and move further up the table.”

The Staggies head to Paisley on the back of a 4-1 home defeat to leaders Celtic.

Adams said: “For 40 minutes of the game, we were in the match. They are undefeated in the league this season. We’ve played them twice in 11 games now. That’s us had our medicine for a wee while now and we move on to the teams that matter, the other teams in the league.

“There are ten other battles in the league to be fought and we are capable of winning against them in this league.

“Collectively, we have done well in games this season. Individually, we have made mistakes and that’s what has been costing us.”

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon feels the success of his young players shows the club is heading in the right direction. Five youth products started last weekend when St Mirren won 3-0 at Partick Thistle to move into ninth place in the Scottish Premiership – Jason Naismith, Sean Kelly, Marc McAusland, Kenny McLean and John McGinn.

Lennon said: “It was fantastic to see five players from our academy come in and start off the game. That’s what this club is all about. Those five players have big futures in the game with the attitude that they have.”

One of the players, midfielder McLean, returned to Scotland Under-21 duty as a substitute in the 1-1 European qualifying draw with Georgia on Thursday night.

Lennon said: “I was delighted he was back in at that level of football and it was great to see him get a wee run-out and particularly pleasing to see the level of performance he put in.

“There is no doubt the level of performances over the past five or six weeks has been exceptional. We all know the wonderful talent that he is but he has really grown up and become a man in those six weeks.

“The level of performance he has put in comes along with an incredible work-rate.”

The abandonment of the original game with County is still a source of pain for the St Mirren manager.

“It was a frustrating afternoon for us,” Lennon said. “You put so much into the game and get yourself into a good lead and look as if you can jump up a few places in the league, then the River Clyde decides to pass through our pitch.

“Willie Collum, I think he is an excellent referee, and he had a very difficult decision to make. It was an unpopular one at the time but when you look back at it, it was certainly the correct decision. There could have been a serious injury or one or two players sent off with the conditions, because it was getting more ridiculous by the minute.”

“We have just got to make sure we bring the same work-rate and desire as we did in the previous game and also last week against Partick Thistle.”