Ross County’s Foster keen to add Highland sting to Hampden homecoming
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!”
PARTY ON: Richard Foster is excited for Ross County’s open-top bus parade.