Ivan Sproule focuses on substance over style

Ivan Sproule is confident the clash against Saints can be the turning point in County's campaign. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Ivan Sproule is confident the clash against Saints can be the turning point in County's campaign. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Ivan Sproule is determined to see Ross County pick up their first away win of the season today even if it means winning ugly at St Mirren.

The winger has been frustrated by the Highlanders’ form on the road so far as they prepare to make the long trip to Paisley in the Scottish Premiership. But he is confident the clash against Saints can be the turning point in County’s campaign and insists they must secure the three points by whatever means necessary.

Sproule said: “Once you get the first win away from home, a few more can roll off it. We are not far away from getting the wins. We know where we are making the mistakes when we are on our travels. It would be worse if we didn’t know why we were getting beat away from home. We’ve worked on that and hopefully we can put that right.

“The one thing about football, stats don’t really count. The only thing that counts is for and against goals. We know we’ve got to put that right on Saturday, score more goals than St Mirren and pick up the three points.

“Nice football and flattering football – Stoke do it and they’ve had all these great performances but they’re not getting results. In this industry, nowadays, with the way football is, the only thing that counts are the results. We know as a set of players and a coaching staff that we need to get it right on Saturday.”

St Mirren manager Danny Lennon admits his side came “right back down to earth with a bang” against Dundee United last week but is looking for them to rise again today.

After a poor start to the season St Mirren travelled to Tannadice unbeaten in their previous three Scottish Premiership games which included wins over St Johnstone and Hearts. However, Lennon’s men retreated into their early-season form during a 4-0 thrashing by Jackie McNamara’s side which left the visitors second-bottom of the table, 
albeit still 15 points ahead of Hearts.

Ahead of the visit of County, who beat St Mirren 3-0 in Dingwall in August, Lennon said: “Each (unbeaten) game gives you a little more confidence but that result certainly brings you right back down to earth with a bang.

“We are all hurting and we have to make sure we respond in the right fashion. I am very honest and I call a spade a spade. We didn’t bring any of the qualities we showed over the last month to the table. Taking nothing away from a good Dundee United team but we failed to match them for work, we weren’t even second to balls, at times we weren’t even third to them. But you are going to get games where you say, ‘Where did that come from?’ and that is certainly one of them.

“You normally get two or three players having an off-day and the other eight or nine carry them through, but we were completely the opposite, we had two players with pass marks and that is never enough.

“We have got to (bounce back). We have to bring the same ingredients to the table as we did in the three games before the United game. We matched those three teams in every department and got rewards for it so that has to be the key message. We have to bring more to the game than Ross County.”