Silence may be golden for Ross County as Premiership prepares to kick off
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JOSH Mullin believes Ross County will rarely have a better chance of upsetting the Old Firm and Scotland’s big city clubs than in this coming season.
With closed doors football the new dawning reality for Premiership clubs from this weekend, there will be close scrutiny of how it affects teams and individual players.
Mullin, County’s driven winger, is confident the Staggies’ mindset and will to win will not be diminished by surreal, empty surroundings.
But with the likes of Celtic and Rangers accustomed to feeding off the energy of huge supports, both home and away, the 27-year-old Glaswegian hopes County can rock the boat.
Even a short sloppy interlude in play for either of the Old Firm – home or away – tends to draw a sharp vocal rebuke from the faithful. Often, the result is a backlash that blows away early resistance from the league’s so-called lesser lights.
County host Celtic on September 12 and entertain Aberdeen a fortnight later. An Ibrox trip awaits the following week, with the reverse fixtures played before December is out.
The Dingwall squad and management will be spectators as the top-flight kicks off this weekend, but play last season’s third top team Motherwell at the Global Energy Stadium on Monday evening.
“The new boys coming in have all been great additions. We’re looking strong,” Mullin said.
“Speaking to the boys, this is probably the best opportunity we’ll get to go and take something off the bigger teams, without fans in the stadiums. Hopefully, we can use that to our advantage.
“Obviously you want to go to places like Ibrox and Parkhead and play in front of the fans.
“But I think this season, not having that, may mean if they get slack or sloppy at times they’ll not have that support there to get on their backs and ramp them up a few gears. We need to take advantage of that, play on the front foot and not let them find a rhythm.
“We always look to take something from those games, but I think now is our best opportunity to do that.”
Without the influence of crowds, Mullin knows it will fall to players alone to generate the tempo and impetus.
The highly-rated attacker hopes that will be harder the bigger the club is.
“If you’re not getting up for these games, even without fans, there’s something wrong. I’ll have no problem,” he said.
“I’m not saying the likes of Celtic and Rangers will get complacent, but it might just be they take their foot off the gas for that five or 10-minute spell.
“With fans there, you don’t get the chance to take your foot off the gas. It will be all about going out in a positive frame of mind and seeing what we can get.”