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Manager keen for Ross County to progress in Scottish Cup with victory over Livingston

By Andrew Henderson

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Malky Mackay is keen for Ross County to make the most of the Scottish Cup this season after Covid-19 wreaked havoc on their League Cup campaign.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay.
Ross County manager Malky Mackay.

The Staggies were hit by an outbreak in the early stages of pre-season, and were forced to forfeit two of their four League Cup group stage matches.

That knocked them out of the competition before they had kicked a ball, and as such their remaining fixtures became pre-season friendlies in all but name.

This weekend, though, County enter the Scottish Cup with a tough tie away at fellow Premiership Livingston.

The importance of going on a cup run – for momentum on the pitch as well as finances off it – is well known in Dingwall, and as a result Mackay wants to see the club progress, even though he knows it will be a tricky task.

“We didn’t really get the chance to have a good go at the League Cup at the start of the season with the (Covid) situation that happened,” Mackay explained.

“I think it’s an important thing for our football club to try and do well in the cup.

“It’s an all-Premiership tie which is one of the few – it might even be the only one.

“It’s going to be tough down there for us. David Martindale has got a good team that has done well for years, so we’ll get ourselves wiped down and ready to go again.”

County can take some momentum into the match after having claimed all three points against Motherwell in the league midweek.

Mackay will have an interesting selection on his hands, though, given that the Staggies lost two players to injury early in the match on Tuesday evening.

Joe Hungbo and David Cancola were both forced off before the half hour mark in their first match back after the three-week winter break, and will be doubts for tomorrow’s trip south – although Mackay was optimistic neither was serious.

“They’re not coming to me saying ‘this is really bad’, either of them,” he reasoned.

“Joe was at the point where he was beginning to feel it, and he was mature enough to say he thought he needed to come off otherwise it was going to go.

“David’s is a tightness, so again it’s not a sharp pain that means something is torn. We just have to be careful and we’ve got a couple coming back from injury, so we’ll see how we get on.

“The effort they put in against Motherwell, who are flying high, I’m delighted it’s three defeats in 11.

“Coming off the back of the three weeks off we had, it’s always interesting how you manage that. They had the week with their families around New Year time, and the chairman was great to give us the money to allow us to go to Edinburgh for five days as well.

“Sometimes when you go away for a few days, you get judged on how that first game is when you come back. It shouldn’t really be like that, but I’m delighted for myself that we won the game more than anything – the chairman’s money was well spent!”

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