The Sunday Post (Newcastle)
Big Ross saved the day, says Staggies boss
John Hughes thanked his goalkeeper for earning Ross County a point from a game he felt his men should have won.
The Staggies came close with a number of chances in the 2-2 draw at Kilmarnock.
They looked the likelier team to grab a winner as full-time approached, but Ross Laidlaw had to be at his best to stop a last-gasp effort from Chris Burke.
Hughes said: “We have big Ross to thank for that save in the last minute, but I thought we should have got more for the game.
“We created the better chances, hit the woodwork and played some nice football.
“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb by conceding so early in the game and then losing another soft one.
“I asked them to keep a clean sheet in the second half and to go on and win the game.
“I thought we did enough to do that, but we just couldn’t get the ball in the net.
“We take the point and that keeps us ahead of Kilmarnock. It’s all to play for.”
The manager is encouraged by the fight shown by his players. They had slightly more of the possession and being slightly sharper in front of goal would have seen them get a crucial win.
Hughes added: “It wasn’t a great game of football, but it was exciting and I saw a team that is battling to stay in the league.
“We were creating chances. Even right at the end, big Jordan White went through.
“If it had been Hylton or Charles-Cook with that blistering pace, they wouldn’t have caught them, but Jordan had put a shift in.
“We did enough to get the three points, but it has been like that since I came in.
“The secret is not to feel sorry for yourself. You take the positives, galvanise ourselves and keep going for next time.”
Hughes still bears the scars of his time as a combative centre-half, so he’s rarely quick to sympathise with anyone who takes a whack.
County’s Iain Vigurs left the field after a clash with Kyle Lafferty.
His boss said: “Iain felt it was enough for a red card, but I can’t comment on that because I didn’t see the incident.
“There was another one where Hylton got a whack and was feeling sorry for himself, but you just have to get on with it. I am not going to point the finger of blame.
“Iain was on the wrong end of an arm, I think, but these things happen.
“It has happened to me many a time. He got plenty of blood on his nose, so he will be the butt of the jokes going up the road.”