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Performance against Hearts in Edinburgh shows Ross County have replaced the quality they lost last season

By Will Clark

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Defender Jack Baldwin says Ross County have shown they have replaced the quality players they lost last season with new additions who are just as good with the potential to be better.

Jack Baldwin.
Jack Baldwin.

Ross County lost 2–1 against Hearts at Tynecastle yesterday, despite dominating the first half before the hosts stormed back after the break.

New signings Ben Purrington, Owura Edwards and Jordy Hiwula started yesterday who all impressed, with Yan Dhanda, Callum Johnson and Kazeem Olaigbe coming on a substitutes.

The club lost the services of Regan Charles-Cook, Joseph Hungbo and Blair Spittal from last season, with the trio accounting for most of the goals which fired them into the top six.

The club also lost Jack Burroughs, Declan Drysdale, Ashley Maynard Brewer, Kayne Ramsay and Jake Vokins after their loan deals expired.

But Baldwin says early signs show Ross County have replaced those players with new additions capable of achieving the heights they did last season.

"A large core group of players are still here, but obviously the nature of football means you will lose players and players come in," he said.

"The lads that have come in compliment us fantastically well.

"They are similar to what we have lost and the quality we have lost has been replaced.

"It is a great group with plenty of talent who are professional and work hard.

"We are only into the first game of the Premiership, but we showed the stuff we can play and we will get better when we understand each other more."

Baldwin says Ross County were left frustrated with the 2–1 defeat in Edinburgh yesterday, believing points were there for the taking.

But he says their disappointment shows how far the club have come last season and where they want to go during this campaign too.

"It was a game of two halves which could sum it up.

"I felt we should have been two or three goals ahead going in at half time.

"Hearts had a chance late on, we hit the woodwork two or three times.

"Our overall play was brilliant, we kept them in their half and kept the ball well.

"Coming in at half time we were frustrated we were not ahead.

"I felt we didn't get started in the second half, they looked like they threw caution to the wind and were high and pinning us back, we could not get out for first part of the second half.

"Ultimately we conceded two avoidable goals and we will be frustrated when we look back at the debrief.

"We hit the woodwork a few times and had great chances, but games are won and lost in both boxes. "If we can't put the ball in the net, then there is a chance they will create at the other end.

"We need to be more clinical and we're working on it on a weekly basis and look to transfer it into the next 37 games of the season."

But Baldwin says they will take massive confidence from the performance at Tynecastle against a team who were the third best side in Scotland last season.

"To come here and fight, in the first half especially, shows how far we have come as a team and leave frustrated.

"But Hearts have great talent in their squad and when chances fall they take them."

Ross County are now preparing to face champions Celtic in Dingwall next weekend.

It is a tough start to the campaign for the Staggies, but Baldwin says it is the type of game which has attracted so many players up from England and elsewhere to be involved with Ross County.

"It is a good one to bounce back with and it is another tough test.

"For us as a group of players, it is why we come to Scotland to play these big games against the Old Firm, Hearts and Hibernian.

"It will be a great test and hopefully we will get something from it.

"They will bring their fans up but we are at home and we will give it a go."

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