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Ross County manager Don Cowie ‘grateful’ for influence of Jack Baldwin as Staggies boss yet to decide who will replace Northampton Town’s new defender as captain in Dingwall

By Andrew Henderson

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Ross County manager Don Cowie says he is grateful for the influence former captain Jack Baldwin had in the dressing room after the defender returned to England.

The 31-year-old has completed a permanent move to Northampton Town for an undisclosed fee, bringing his three-year stay in Dingwall to a close.

Baldwin was given the captain’s armband last season in the wake of Keith Watson’s exit, and led the Staggies to Premiership safety via a play-off triumph over Raith Rovers.

Upon returning for pre-season training, he intimated to Cowie that he would like to head back to England to be closer to family, and after continued dialogue over the past couple of weeks County felt that they were in a position to be able to sanction the deal.

“Jack’s been a great player for this football club,” Cowie explained.

“He’s led the group really well over the last three seasons, especially in the last three months in my time in the role. I was very grateful in terms of the way he led the group through a really challenging time.

“I’m disappointed he is leaving the football club, but sometimes it is more than football. I had a really good conversation with Jack. He has a young family and it got to the stage where he felt it was important he was back living in England with his (wider) family.

“It was a very open conversation. As much as Jack wanted to move to England, at the same time he said if it wasn’t possible he was here, and would give everything he could for the football club. He had another year on his contract and he would have stayed for that extra year.

“We said that if we got who we wanted to come in the door then it would free it up. With Akil Wright coming in yesterday, there was the opening for Jack to go.”

“Then it is up to a club to want him and do what they need to do to get him out of our football club. That’s happened. We wish him nothing but the best.”

Baldwin’s departure does open up a question mark over who will be Ross County’s captain next season.

A final decision is yet to be made by Cowie and his coaching staff, but he is confident he will not be short of options ahead of this weekend’s competitive opener against Stranraer in the League Cup.

“We haven’t made a decision,” Cowie added.

“Jack only left today, so it is still really early.

“I’ve got a really good group of senior pros at the club, so I will take a bit of time and speak to the staff over the next few days before our first competitive game on Saturday.

“We’re not lacking in leaders, that’s for sure.”

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