'They wanted a favour from Hearts' - Ross County delighted with precious point in Euro battle with Motherwell and Dundee Utd

Insisting he had “no beef” with the decision to disallow what would have been a winning goal for his team, Ross County manager Malky Mackay preferred to focus on the positives of a 0-0 draw against Hearts.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay salutes the travelling fans after a draw with Hearts.
Ross County manager Malky Mackay salutes the travelling fans after a draw with Hearts.

With a vital European head-to-head against Motherwell next weekend in the cinch Premiership, his side edged ahead of the Fir Park side courtesy of a hard-fought draw with Hearts and having claimed a share of the points, the Dingwall boss said he had wasted no time in checking how that affected their European aspirations.

“I did that very, very quickly!” Mackay revealed.

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Back up to fifth spot, they know they have a solid chance of making the cut for the first time in their history.

“We were the fifth best team in this country on merit, two weeks ago when the split happened and that’s the belief I asked them to take into the game. I thought they did that.

Celtic and Rangers are going for the league, while Hearts are looking at the cup final and they need to be ready for that.

“There’s then this little mini league where we have got Motherwell, ourselves and Dundee United. I think they were both looking at this one thinking ‘come on Hearts – do us a favour.’ They probably would’ve been disappointed to see us come away with a point.

“As far as we’re concerned, the five games is now down to three. Celtic and Hearts have gone and we have got three games to go, with two at home, to get that fifth position.

“A point down at Tynecastle is a terrific point. That’s three draws against that team this year. I’ve got to be happy with that.”