No excuses from Malky Mackay as threadbare Ross County crash out of Scottish Cup at Livingston
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Malky Mackay insists his much-changed team at Livingston was out of necessity, not disrespect – and says it cannot be used as an excuse for Ross County’s Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Livingston.
It only took one goal to separate the sides, with Ayo Obileye’s penalty coming after Declan Drysdale had bundled Bruce Anderson over inside his own 18-yard box.
Mackay’s starting 11 saw six changes from last Tuesday’s victory over Motherwell. Some of those were anticipated given Jordan Tillson’s suspension and David Cancola’s injury midweek, but Mackay revealed afterwards that every fit outfield player he had available was on the pitch at some point.
“To be absolutely clear, the team was absolutely no disrespect to the Scottish Cup or Livingston – what we played was what we had left,” Mackay explained.
“Six of the nine on the bench were not fit to come on.
“We had two players left, which was Jordan White and Harry Paton and they both came on.
“We took some heavy hits on Tuesday evening. We also had a suspension.
“Our two boys who came back from being on loan at Brora Rangers had already played in the cup, so we counted what was fit, available and standing because we lost one on Friday in training.
“There were a couple where it was play against Livingston, and risk being out for six weeks. We had 14 we could play, so I filled the bench with the rest of them to make it look viable.
“It was no excuse – we were beaten fair and square. We will give them another four or five days to see if they are available for the middle of the week, but certainly a few won’t be available for that either.”
County did have chances in the second half to get back in the game, with Alex Samuel and Dominic Samuel each missing point-blank headers to equalise.
“We started really poorly, I wasn’t happy with that,” Mackay said.
“My challenge in the second half was to really step on and be brave in the second half.
“We can’t miss two glaring headers like that if we want to win games. It was two glaring errors. We knew exactly how Livingston were going to be, and we had to match that.”