McInnes tip of the hat to coura­geous Ross County

Reds: Boss says for­ward-think­ing op­po­nents wor­thy of top-tier spot

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - SPORT - BY PAUL THIRD

Aberdeen man­ager Derek McInnes be­lieves Ross County’s at­tack­ing phi­los­o­phy can pay off by keep­ing the club in the Premier­ship.

Stag­gies co-man­agers Stu­art Ket­tlewell and Steven Fer­gu­son have guided their side to sixth in the Premier­ship after 12 matches and McInnes be­lieves the strong start from County can keep them away from rel­e­ga­tion trou­ble this term.

He said: “Steven and Stu­art have done ex­tremely well. They won the

Cham­pi­onship last sea­son when their club was not favourites and also won the Chal­lenge Cup.

“That con­fi­dence has con­tin­ued in the Premier­ship. It’s im­por­tant, wher­ever you are aim­ing for in a league, to beat the teams in and around you and they have man­aged to do that.

“They are hav­ing a sim­i­lar im­pact to what Liv­ingston had last sea­son.

“They’ve re­ally attacked teams in the Premier­ship and they go with a front two more of­ten than not.

“They’ve taken a cou­ple of sore ones against the Old Firm, as most teams will, and while it is early days I’d say it’s look­ing pos­i­tive for them.

“If they main­tain the form and re­sults they have achieved so far they will be com­fort­ably away from any trou­ble.” McInnes may be full of praise for

County but he is hop­ing to see a third win in a row from his side be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break.

The Dons head to Ding­wall on Satur­day to face the Cham­pi­onship win­ners at Vic­to­ria Park boosted by the re­turn of Craig Bryson while Ash Tay­lor is also in con­tention fol­low­ing a ham­string tear.

Sam Cos­grove has also re­cov­ered from the knock he took in Satur­day’s 3-0 win against Kil­marnock.

McInnes said: “Ding­wall is still a trek – as most away games are for us – but it’s a ground where we’ve had de­cent suc­cess and good mem­o­ries of play­ing at in the past and we are fo­cus­ing on pro­duc­ing a per­for­mance which is good enough to take all three points on Satur­day.

“The squad is build­ing back up again and that is im­por­tant. Hope­fully we have come through this chal­leng­ing spell we’ve had.”

Derek McInnes

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