Stag­gies kid in­sight on how to deal with Dob­bie

● Grivosti was at Bolton with 29-goal Doon­hamers striker

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - CLASSIFIED - BY ANDY SKIN­NER

Ross County de­fender Tom Grivosti knows what to ex­pect should he go up against Queen of the South phe­nom­e­non Stephen Dob­bie at Ding­wall on Satur­day.

English­man Grivosti has bro­ken into the Stag­gies team and made his first Cham­pi­onship start in last week­end’s 1-0 vic­tory over Al­loa Ath­letic.

The 19-year-old joined County’s de­vel­op­ment squad in 2017, hav­ing been re­leased from the youth ranks at Bolton Wan­der­ers, where he had been since the age of 12.

Dur­ing his stint with the Trot­ters, a 16-year-old Grivosti came up against Dob­bie in train­ing when the veteran at­tacker spent the 2015-16 cam­paign with the Lan­cashire club.

Should he get the nod from co-man­agers Stu­art Ket­tlewell and Steven Fer­gu­son, Grivosti is un­der no il­lu­sions about the threat he faces in the form of 36-year-old Dob­bie, who has al­ready net­ted 29 goals for the Doon­hamers this sea­son.

Grivosti said: “I trained with Stephen Dob­bie a few times when I was at Bolton Wan­der­ers and he was there too so I have a clear idea of what I’m go­ing against.

“He is one of the top strik­ers in the league. His goals speak for them­selves. He has scored some amount this sea­son and I know he holds a lot of qual­ity. My chal­lenge is to try to stop him and help keep us on a win­ning run.”

Grivosti’s only two ap­pear­ances prior to last Satur­day’s win at Recre­ation Park were a sub­sti­tute out­ing in a 2-1 home win against Ayr United and a start in the re­cent IRN-BRU Cup quar­ter-fi­nal win over Mother­well Colts.

Liver­pool-born Grivosti feels he is al­ready reap­ing the ben­e­fits of his ex­po­sure to first team foot­ball.

He added: “I was very ner­vous when I came on for my de­but in the sec­ond half against Ayr United but any player mak­ing their first ap­pear­ance would have felt the nerves.

“But I think I han­dled the nerves well and did all right in that game. That’s helped me go on and start matches. I haven’t felt half as ner­vous since.

“I’m learn­ing so much at the mo­ment from the likes of Mar­cus Fraser, Ross Draper and Keith Wat­son who are all in around me de­fen­sively. Even on the train­ing pitch ev­ery day, the­m­an­agers are help­ing me keep learn­ing.

“That’s what you want as a young cen­tre-back. You can never stop learn­ing how to de­fend bet­ter.

“The main dif­fer­ence is con­cen­tra­tion lev­els. You have to fo­cus 100% of the time on the pitch.

“You can’t switch off for a mo­ment or you will be pun­ished. That’s the main dif­fer­ence, I think be­tween re­serves and first team.”

MAK­ING MARK: Tom Grivosti could face Queens goals ma­chine Stephen Dob­bie

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