Ross County’s Foster keen to add High­land sting to Ham­p­den home­com­ing

The Herald - Herald Sport - - LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP - ALAS­DAIR FRASER

RICHARD FOSTER rates last Sun­day’s League Cup fi­nal tri­umph as the best of his ca­reer – above a Scot­tish Premier League ti­tle suc­cess with Rangers.

But the Ross County de­fender still be­lieves tonight’s open-top bus pa­rade and party will be a lit­tle bit tainted with­out High­land derby suc­cess.

Foster, part of the Ibrox side that took the ti­tle in 2010/11, ac­knowl­edges minds and limbs have been weary since the sil­ver­ware suc­cess. With so much at stake in the top-six chase, though, he is cer­tain County will be fresh and primed for bat­tle with neigh­bours In­ver­ness. Foster said: “The St John­stone game didn’t give us much time to process the cup fi­nal vic­tory. We’ll do that this week­end, given we have the in­ter­na­tional break af­ter­wards. We can re­lax a bit and en­joy af­ter, hope­fully, beat­ing In­ver­ness.

“There were tired legs in Perth, but you look at the likes of Michael Gar­dyne and he looked su­per-hu­man. The ground he cov­ered, given the game he had on Sun­day, was just in­cred­i­ble.

“You come in day-to-day and you’re tired and a bit sore.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to get up for train­ing some­times, but for games it is no prob­lem. It’s easy. Es­pe­cially against In­ver­ness, where the ground will be packed out, there will be tired legs and tired minds, but you can put all that to the side for 90 min­utes.

“Then we can re­cover af­ter that. It has been a big week for us and a win on Satur­day would make it all the more spe­cial. It would mean a lot to go into the tro­phy pa­rade on the back of vic­tory over In­ver­ness. The vis­i­tors, mean­while, are lick­ing their wounds and Ross Draper, their mid­fielder, says there would be no bet­ter tonic for his team-mates than a High­land derby win just a few days af­ter Scot­tish Cup heartache.

The play­ers fi­nally had the sil­ver­ware won in May wrenched from their grasp by Hibs in the quar­ter-fi­nal re­play, leav­ing them seven games with­out vic­tory.

With Stag­gies toast­ing their first ma­jor tro­phy, it amounts to a dou­ble­whammy for Draper and his team­mates. But he has no doubt the sce­nario can draw the best out of the High­land cap­i­tal club.

The English­man said: “There is no bet­ter game for us to have. There’s no in­cen­tive, build-up or team talk needed – it’s a derby.

“The lads will do their talk­ing on the pitch, hope­fully.”

As for County’s planned cup cel­e­bra­tions, Draper is un­per­turbed.

He said: “It was a great re­sult for them at Ham­p­den. It’s good for the High­lands and good for foot­ball up here given our suc­cess last year.

“They had a game in mid­week against St John­stone, so it’s not as if we’re play­ing them a cou­ple of days af­ter, when you’d maybe hope they’re still con­cen­trat­ing on it, or maybe still have a bit of al­co­hol in the sys­tem!”

Pic­ture: SNS

PARTY ON: Richard Foster is ex­cited for Ross County’s open-top bus pa­rade.

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