Ridgers keen to re­pay fans

Keeper hails those who backed team on mam­moth Dum­fries trip

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - SPORT -

Some play­ers are moved to tears by packed sta­di­ums and vast swathes of sup­port­ers. Goal­keeper Mark Ridgers saw 39 hardy souls turn out in club colours at Dum­fries on a freez­ing Tues­day night and knew Ca­ley This­tle had to win.

Just why the High­landers were asked to make the 466-mile round trip jour­ney on a mid­week sched­ul­ing was any­one’s guess.

But the play­ers have grown used to clock­ing up vast dis­tances in an un­for­giv­ing fix­ture list and made sure of the three points be­fore ar­riv­ing back home af­ter 3am.

It was the fans Ridgers felt for, though, and the for­mer Hearts and Or­lando shot-stop­per said: “It’s the com­mit­ment of the fans here that makes you even more de­ter­mined you don’t want to let them down.

“We’re down at Dum­fries on a Tues­day night – the long­est jour­ney pos­si­ble in this league – and we’ve got 39 sup­port­ers there.

“Ev­ery player ap­pre­ci­ated them be­ing there and while they were small in num­ber they made them­selves heard.

“They helped us through it and we got a great re­sult that puts us back on track.

“But it was a long, long day for ev­ery­one. We left at 12 in the af­ter­noon on the day and got home af­ter 3am the next day, so it’s one of those.

“Those kinds of trips cer­tainly cre­ate a strong team spirit, al­though let me tell you we’ve got that any­way.

“But with that kind of jour­ney the boys are play­ing quiz games on the bus and just try­ing to find things to do for the fourhour jour­ney. Team spirit this sea­son is very good and that’s mas­sive. The play­ers do a lot to­gether, the fam­i­lies too.

“You can see that with re­sults. We’re quick to bounce back af­ter dis­ap­point­ments. We did it again on Tues­day af­ter Satur­day’s de­feat at Mor­ton.”

Ca­ley This­tle crashed to a 4-1 away de­feat to United in the first game of the league sea­son, but quickly re­cov­ered to kick off a ti­tle chal­lenge.

The po­ten­tial points swing this week­end makes it all the more sig­nif­i­cant, but Ridgers stressed it was early days in the league race.

The 29-year-old from In­ver­ness said: “Any game’s im­por­tant to win. To beat a good Queen of the South side has set us up nicely for Satur­day al­though no one’s get­ting car­ried away.

“It’s only 11 games in, but if we beat United then we give our­selves the chance to keep fight­ing for the ti­tle.

“The first game of the sea­son de­feat to United was a sore one, but from that we went on a good run.

“We just need to fo­cus on our­selves.”

FAR FROM HOME: In­ver­ness striker Niko­lay Todorov scores to make it 2-0 dur­ing the league match against Queen of the South at Palmer­ston Park on Tues­day night

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