Staggies kid insight on how to deal with Dobbie
● Grivosti was at Bolton with 29-goal Doonhamers striker
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