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Mental strength will come to the fore in Ross County's post-split fixtures, says Laidlaw


By Alasdair Fraser

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Ross Laidlaw knows it will take mental strength for Ross County to prevail in the Premiership battle for survival.

The Staggies goalkeeper is confident his team has what it takes to haul themselves up the table in the closing five matches, but wants team-mates to focus on their own performances rather than fret about the opposition.

Approaching the post-split sequence, 10th-placed County have a two-point advantage on bottom side Hamilton and one on 11th-placed Kilmarnock.

On-form keeper Ross Laidlaw pushes away an Ali McCann attempt at full stretch in the narrow defeat to St Johnstone. Picture: Ken Macpherson
On-form keeper Ross Laidlaw pushes away an Ali McCann attempt at full stretch in the narrow defeat to St Johnstone. Picture: Ken Macpherson

In-form keeper Laidlaw believes the scrap for survival could go down to the wire and, with little between the teams in quality, feels the side that shows the greatest strength of character should secure safety.

“It is going to take mental strength and it could go right to the final match,” Laidlaw said. “There’s pressure in every game, especially at the bottom of the table.

“We’ve got ourselves off the bottom and into 10th now, but the pressure on us is to stay above the play-off zone.

“There’s going to be a lot of pressure and we just need to be brave on the ball and not worry too much about what other teams do.

“Sometimes you can over-think it.

“Our last match in Perth wasn’t good enough and the manager told us that. We were playing against a good St Johnstone team, to be fair, and they played really well.

“We know now the teams, post-split, are all similar levels with no real difference in quality. We just need to work as hard as we can in training and take it into the games.”

To succeed, County will also need to build on their recent victory over Kilmarnock and douse their reputation as an outfit that tends to secure their big victories best against the better sides in the Premiership.

“Since the manager has come in, we’ve always raised our game and done well against the teams at the top end of the table,” Laidlaw admitted. “Now, we have to show we can pick up points from the teams around us.”


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