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No change in approach at Ross County ahead of crucial match in race for European qualification against Motherwell, says Austrian midfielder David Cancola


By Andrew Henderson

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David Cancola says the stakes of this afternoon's match against Motherwell will not affect the way Ross County approach the game.

Three points would be a huge step in the right direction as the Staggies bid to qualify for European football for the first time in their history, with just one place and one point separating the two teams in the current standings.

With County slightly ahead and defending fifth place, it could be seen as a must not lose match, rather than a must win encounter.

David Cancola insists now is not the time to change things at Ross County in the race for Europe. Picture: Ken Macpherson
David Cancola insists now is not the time to change things at Ross County in the race for Europe. Picture: Ken Macpherson

However, with the Dingwall outfit proving to be a formidable force in front of goal this season, Cancola says it will be business as usual in the side's approach to facing Motherwell.

"It doesn't change anything," Cancola insisted.

"What we've learned about ourselves is that we're at our best when we just go at it and we don't think too much about results, when we're on the front foot from the start and go for it.

"That's what we're going to do this weekend, and if we put it all out there, that's all we can do and we'll see what happens.

"The confidence helps, but also we're humble enough to remember where we came from.

"We know that every game in this league is going to be hard for us, but we're just going to put it all out there and see what happens."

Blocking out the noise

With three games left to play this season, every match has something riding on it for Ross County.

It may, then, be difficult to block out the noise surrounding each fixture, especially when the fans' excitement at potentially qualifying for continental football is so palpable.

Cancola says the players will all be aware of what is at stake against Motherwell. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Cancola says the players will all be aware of what is at stake against Motherwell. Picture: Ken Macpherson

The old cliche in football is to take things one game at a time, but it is impossible to ignore the context of what a positive result would mean for the Staggies.

Cancola admits as much, saying that much as players may try to block out the ramifications of winning or losing, they are always aware of it.

"We can say as much as we want that we're not looking at the league standings, but we obviously have it in the back of our heads," he reasoned.

"It would be a massive three points, but I think what has made us strong all season is that we have gone for it in every game.

"We will go for it again this season just like any other game, and if we get three points that's massive."

Clarity the foundation of success

This kind of moment has been a long time coming for Cancola.

The Austrian was first linked with a move to Dingwall last January under previous manager John Hughes, but issues with work permits meant the move was only finalised last summer when Malky Mackay had taken over.

Cancola has enjoyed playing under Malky Mackay this season. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Cancola has enjoyed playing under Malky Mackay this season. Picture: Ken Macpherson

Cancola could have been forgiven for second-guessing his role in the side considering the amount of change that took place at Ross County in pre-season, but when fit he has fitted seamlessly into Mackay's system.

The reason for that, Cancola believes, is that there is no room left for doubt over what the manager wants players to do on the pitch.

"I think it was quite a good fit from the start, which is super important," he added.

"We all know how massive it is as a player and a coach to think alike. That can really influence your season.

"I really enjoy the way he wants to play, and I think he does a really good job in giving us a guideline to how he wants to play but still giving us enough freedom to bring in our personal qualities.

"I think that's a big part of why we're having a successful season – we have always stuck to our plan.

"You can tell from the start that there's a handwriting behind the way we play, and that's the gaffer's doing so he deserves credit for that. We've stuck to it through tough times, and it's paying off now."


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