County star Routis prefers to play in front of big crowds
CHRISTOPHER ROUTIS will have no fears about stepping out to perform in front of 50,000 fans at Ibrox today. What really puts the wind up the Frenchman is hearing the growl of one man and his dog in Dingwall.
Midfielder Routis, signed from Bradford City in the summer, experienced big crowds in both England and Switzerland.
With Servette, clashes with rivals Basel would attract 40,000 and the 26-year-old was part of the Bradford side that went to Stamford Bridge and humbled Chelsea in a 4-2 FA Cup victory in January 2015.
The turn-out that day also topped 40,000, with current teammate Andrew Davies and today’s foe Andy Halliday part of the victorious team.
But with Bradford almost always attracting five-figure attendances, it has been tougher to get used to County’s crowds of 2-3,000 where solitary shouts can be crushing.
Routis, who is likely to partner Martin Woods in the heart of the Highlanders’ midfield today, said: “If there is 50,000 down at Ibrox, it will be the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of.
“I played in a derby against Basel and I think the crowd was 40,000. It could be great. To be honest, I prefer to play when there is a big crowd and a big stadium. When you play in front of 50,000 you don’t hear what anybody says.
“Here at Ross County though, you can hear it if one person shouts. If they say ‘you’re sh**’, you can hear that.
“So I prefer to hear 50,000 people coming down on you than one person getting on your back. That’s my personal preference.
“That day, [at Stamford Bridge] we heard the Bradford fans more than Chelsea fans. In Bradford, anyway, the fans were incredible as they sold a lot of season tickets.
“It was a good atmosphere in every game and I prefer that. Every player is different, but when I’m on the pitch I don’t pay attention to fans.
“Of course, if you play away and all the home fans push to help the team some players can feel a bit nervous, but I’m not really like that. Give me more of the pressure. It is not a big problem. Every player is different, but I like that pressure. I wouldn’t claim I’m better with that pressure – that would be setting myself up to play badly – but I prefer that type of atmosphere.”