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The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - Sport -

I can do bet­ter on that, I need to progress on that. I want to play the se­cond part of the sea­son bet­ter.”

County re­turn to ac­tion in next week’s Scot­tish Cup fourth-round tie against Dundee United at Vic­to­ria Park.

Af­ter end­ing 2016 promis­ingly with just two de­feats from nine games, Routis is ea­ger to carry mo­men­tum into both cup and Premier­ship cam­paigns. He added: “It’s an im­por­tant game be­cause it is the last cup for us. We will be ready. “We want to stay in the top six. That is the tar­get. In the first part of the sea­son we had one month when we lost a lot of points.

“It­was abad time for theteam butwest­ill fo­cuse­donthe tar­get. We have played bet­ter and bet­ter.

“From the last cou­ple of games we did well and I think we are pro­gress­ing.” Cardiff City man­ager Neil Warnock will de­cide to­mor­row whether to in­crease the club’s of­fer for Aberdeen mid­fielder Jonny Hayes.

The Blue­birds had a £ 500,000 bid for the 29-year-old knocked back by the Dons on Thurs­day.

Warnock will play a wait­ing game – he has sev­eral other tar­gets in his search for a wide player to spark an es­cape from the dan­ger of rel­e­ga­tion from the English Cham­pi­onship – and said: “They’ve turned the bid down, that’s as far as it’s gone. We’ve made what we think is a re­al­is­tic of­fer. I don’t know if we’ll go back in.”

Aberdeen man­ager Derek McInnes is de­ter­mined to do all he can to keep one of his best­play­ers, who still has 18 months re­main­ing on his con­tract.

McIn­nes­said:“£500,000 can get a club an av­er­age player in the Cham­pi­onshipan­dif club­shave the same opin­ion of Jonny as I do then it falls way short of where we see him.”

PROM­ISE: Christo­pher Routis wants to demon­strate how much bet­ter he can play

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