County followed up their rousing Highland derby win at Inverness on New Year’s Day with a hardfought success against stuttering St Johnstone. The only goal of Saturday’s game came from Graham Carey with just two minutes left and McLean, who produced a man-of-the-match display at the heart of the County defence, reckons it could do wonders’ for his team’s confidence.
He said: “Defensively we were pretty sound. It was a great time to get the goal – a good cut-back from Melvin [De Leeuw] coming off the bench to make an impact. That was what we were after. It was a good solid performance. I think everything has just clicked into place. It has been a great start to the year.”
McLean had special praise for new signing Jordan Slew, who has struck up an instant partnership with Gary Glen since joining on loan from Blackburn Rovers. He added: “Jordan, coming in up front, has been superb alongside Gary. The two of them coming in have been a revelation for us.
“As a defender, it eases the pressure on the back four and allows us to get up the park and keep a stronger grip on the game. We’ve deserved to win the past couple of games and it’s great to get the three points from both. It is amazing the difference a win makes. It hasn’t even been a week, so it has been brilliant for the dressing room. It has fed into everybody and it’s pretty infectious in there. Long may it continue. Collectively we held it together and got the result we deserved.”
McLean believes County may have turned the corner after a sticky start to the season. He said: “We’ve had a difficult first half of the season and it is important we turn the corner, which we have done. We need to maintain that energy, desire and hunger to go out and win and express ourselves, which we haven’t done these last few months. It’s important we don’t get ahead of ourselves. If we stick together as a group, which we have been doing, the results will come.”
Saints have slipped into the bottom six after winning only one of their last seven league games. Manager Tommy Wright said: “The game had 0-0 written all over it. We should have come away with at least a point.”