Ross County's head man can hurt Premiership defences
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MALKY Mackay is tipping “aggressive” Alex Iacovitti to trouble Premiership defences with his penalty box presence this season.
The former Nottingham Forest defender set the ball rolling on the Ross County manager’s competitive tenure with a winning goal away to Brora Rangers.
While the League Cup group stage was rendered meaningless by County’s Covid-19 outbreak and two postponed matches, Mackay drew huge positives from Wednesday’s performance after the debilitating effects of the virus.
Iacovitti’s pivotal early second half header and the team’s relentless pressing of Brora topped his list of pluses.
“What happened for the Iacovitti goal is something we spoke about,” Mackay said. “He is an aggressive header of the ball – an aggressive player – and if you have that type fed by a good delivery, at Premiership level you’re going to cause people problems.
“It was a fantastic delivery from young Jake Vokins who has a lovely left foot. And when the ball is fired to him from 50 yards, it just gets brought down beautifully.
“He’s a young player with lots to learn, but he has been schooled very well at Southampton and shows a great willingness.
“We talked in the first half about that little hole where, if we drew Brora’s second man out, the front post space would be available if he could get the delivery in there. And by goodness, so he did.
“On the flip side, I wanted to make sure that we didn’t give up many set pieces and, when we did, we were solid, disciplined and brave. That’s something I’ve looked at since coming here and an area where I feel we can do better.”
Mackay is excited by the prospect of a first bow at Victoria Park at home to Montrose tomorrow.
“It was great to kick off my career proper with Ross County and good to get involved in a game that really meant something,” he said.
“We’re lucky enough that we have a training facility right beside the stadium so, every day since I arrived, I’ve walked by the main pitch and seen it get greener and greener.
“It looks fantastic. Our groundsman Davie has been manicuring it with his scissors I think.
“It is lovely and it will be great to actually get a home game in front of our fans, with our players in our stadium and dressing room.”