Published: 31/01/2014 15:37 - Updated: 31/01/2014 16:12

Ross County fit final piece in jigsaw as new signing is confirmed

Derek Adams: Final piece in the jigsaw
Derek Adams: Final piece in the jigsaw

ROSS County's latest signing, defender Erik ikoš, will travel with the squad to face Kilmarnock on Saturday.

A deal to tie up the 25-year-old Slovakian full back from parent club Slovan Bratislava on loan until the end of the season was hammered out on the final day of the transfer window.

The highly rated ikoš will team up with countryman Filip Kiss, who has made a stunning contribution since arriving in Dingwall on-loan from Cardiff City.

Speaking to the Ross-shire Journal ahead of the deal being finalised, County boss Derek Adams spoke of his admiration for right-sided ikoš, who has played for his country at every level bar the full team up to under 23s. He spent time on trial with County earlier this month.

Having also starred for clubs including Inter Bratislava, Petrzalka and Poland’s Wisla Krakow, Cikos is viewed as the final piece in the jigsaw for County.

Said Adams: “Erik is good going forward — an attacking right full-back, who is quick and strong as well."

Left-sided Ben Gordon has been deployed in the right back role since injury to Steven Saunders and the unexpected departure of Miheal Kovacevic earlier this month.

Adams stressed: “Ben has been excellent — one of our top performers this season. His pass completion rate is always above 80 per cent.

“He has done really well playing at right-back and now he gives Evangelos Oikonomou strong competition at left-back as well — it gives us good competition in the back-line.”

Saunders remains out with a hamstring injury, with Adams explaining there had been a slight setback in his recovery.

The County manager said: “I would have hoped Saunders would be back by now, but we’re looking at possibly another week before he’s back in contention.”

Stuart Kettlewell serves the final match in his three-game suspension as County travel for a crucial test at Kilmarnock, with Dutch winger Darren Maatsen also out (ankle).

County’s blistering start to 2014, with 10 points from 12 up to the Dundee United victory, was terminated by Hearts’ spirited show last weekend.

Adams believes the big area of improvement required at Rugby Park is a higher ratio of attempts on goal.

A shortage of creative spark prevented County from capitalising on their recovery against the Tynecastle team.

Adams said: “We passed the ball a lot more times than Hearts did last weekend, but they had more shots at goal than we did.

“That’s an obvious area where we have to improve at Kilmarnock. We did not start the game very well last week, but after that we controlled it for large spells.

“Even in the first half, we didn’t really do enough get the breakthrough we wanted.

“Take nothing away from Hearts, they put in a good performance and they have done over the last three games.

“But we feel we can improve on our own performance by putting that right against Kilmarnock.

“Overall, we have been happy with the form shown since the turn of the year and we want to keep building now.”

In other news, Ross County confirmed that young star Steven Ross has joined Highland League leaders Brora Rangers until the end of the season.

The Dingwall club has also confirmed that Under 20s manager Barry Smith is leaving to take up the manager’s position at Alloa Athletic.

In a statement, Ross County said: "The club would like to take this opportunity to thank Barry for his service since arriving in the summer of 2013, and wish him all the very best for his future career."

Yoann Songo'o: Dreaming Dingwall could lead to the Copacabana. Interview with the Cameroonian on-loan star inside this week's Ross-shire Journal.

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