Ross County midfielder working hard to improve end product
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Harry Paton has emerged as a key player for Ross County’s first team over the last two seasons.
After signing for the club in the summer of 2018 in the wake of the Staggies’ relegation from the Premiership, he was sent out on loan to Stenhousemuir before returning to Dingwall in January.
He still found game time hard to come by, so it was a bit of a surprise for many to see him in the starting line-up on a regular basis when they returned to the Premiership.
Paton made 24 appearances in all competitions last season, and has played in all but one of their league matches so far in 2020/21.
However, the 22-year-old still has plenty of room for improvement, as can be seen by a quick glance at his record in front of goal.
The Canadian only found the back of the net once in the entirety of last season, against Partick Thistle in the League Cup.
That is an aspect that both he and manager Stuart Kettlewell knows he must improve on to reach the next level – and something they actively discussed after last weekend’s defeat at Rangers.
“Harry is a good player, we’ve been saying that for a long time, but what we need from him now is a bit more end product,” Kettlewell said.
“We spent a bit of time with him on Monday to focus on how he can be more effective with that final action in and around the box.
“He has the energy and the quality to go and pitch in with more goals and assists.
“We felt there were opportunities for him to expose that last Sunday, and he didn’t quite do that.
“Although his overall game was very good, there are still aspects we want to keep pushing him on and try to improve with.
“He knows that himself, he’s his own biggest critic, and he was disappointed that he had a couple of opportunities to make key passes and he missed them.”
It does bode well for his future though, according to Kettlewell, that Paton is so keen to take advice.
“I always speak about coachability, and Harry is very coachable – he wants to learn and improve,” Kettlewell added.
“I see a very big future for him, but we need to improve his assists and his goals because he is very much capable of doing so.”