Fontaine believes relegation heartache has made Ross County stronger
Liam Fontaine believes the trauma and heartache of relegation will prove a necessary evil for Ross County – just like it did at Hibs.
The past Easter Road favourite suffered agony with the Staggies just over a year ago as managerial upheaval and poor recruitment came home to roost in Dingwall.
Novice co-managerial pair Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson were unable to halt the relentless slide of Owen Coyle’s disastrous five months in charge.
After six years in the Premiership, County swallowed the bitter pill of relegation but then quickly set about clearing out the deadwood.
For Fontaine, that ruthless cull brought rejuvenation – with a new-look squad showing the hunger and desire to reclaim top-flight status at the first attempt.
Hibs took considerably longer to return – three years – but the 33-year-old is convinced it is another case of short-term pain bringing long-term gain.
Fontaine stressed: “It was a successful year for us last year, albeit with adversity throughout the season through all the injuries we had.
“We made it through, achieved our target – and now we’re back in the Premiership.
“I think the spirit we have shown in bouncing back has been incredible – and we can build on it.
“Sometimes relegation can really help because then you can clear out what you need to clear out. You can rebuild a whole new squad with a whole new hunger."
Read more in today's Ross-shire Journal.