County star Routis prefers to play in front of big crowds

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL - ALAS­DAIR FRASER

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.”

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