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Ross County feel like a brand new club with signings, says manager

By Andrew Henderson

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Malky Mackay says Ross County are like a whole new club after his first transfer window in charge in Dingwall.

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

With players contracts ending, loan spells expiring and the deadline day departure of Oli Shaw to Kilmarnock, it was clear early on that it would be a busy window at the Global Energy Stadium.

In total there were 28 player movements involving the Staggies over recent months, meaning Mackay can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the deadline has passed.

Looking over his business, Mackay is pleased with the characters he has been able to bring in.

In fact, he has prioritised bringing the right kind of people to Ross County over the summer, believing that maintaining squad harmony is the secret to success.

“This summer’s been an interesting one with 16 out and 12 in and I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life but we’ll get there,” Mackay said.

“It’s like a brand new football club. You try and get good people in and after that they are on their own journey.

“We want to make sure we have good people coming in who don’t disrupt or have egos and the attitude that they are not going to be part of a group.

“That’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, the more you get good people in the building the more chance you have of a culture that exudes hard work and togetherness and selflessness rather than ego and selfishness.”

As Mackay noted, more players did leave Dingwall this summer than arrived, and he is realistic that there is still some strengthening to be done in the future.

However, the changes that County have begun to implement behind the scenes should set them up well in the transfer market for years to come.

“Being honest, we are light in the full-back areas as Jake Vokins is not here and Connor (Randall) is out at right-back,” Mackay reasoned.

“We have 16 out and 12 in, so there are still gaps there.

“Realistically, the chairman, myself and chief executive Steven Ferguson have worked wonders. We have talked daily over the last three months about how to tweak the squad and what is still needed.

“There has been backing in terms of the budget that we have and the model that we’re in. They realised we needed to get players in and it’s not finished.

“Whether it’s me or anyone else, this will be an ongoing process. We need to change the way we work in terms of transfers at this club. That’s why I brought in Enda Barron and we now have a small recruitment department.

“We go away now from being agent-driven to being club-driven with the help of agents. No matter who is in the manager’s seat, the club now have an area where there is a way of working and we are starting to now look two windows ahead.

“We look at what’s next and that’s where our succession plan comes from. Who is going out of contract? Whose contract do you want to extend? Who will we look at from other clubs?

“It’s a science and it’s an area which is booming in Britain at the moment. Recruitment is huge at every football club and you have to ensure you drive it rather than the market driving you.”

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