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Ross County skipper Vigurs says buzz of being on television cannot replace fans in the stadium ahead of Highland derby against Inverness Caledonian Thistle


By Alasdair Fraser

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He is the man both sets of fans have loved to hate on Highland derby day.

Iain Vigurs insists he will miss his perennial role as pantomime villain as he steps out tonight for his 22nd appearance in the fixture.

With two spells at current club Ross County and two at Caley Thistle, nothing in the Scottish Cup showdown in Dingwall will surprise the 32-year-old midfielder.

Iain Vigurs (centre) will miss the fans tonight in Dingwall – but nothing will detract from his will to win. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Iain Vigurs (centre) will miss the fans tonight in Dingwall – but nothing will detract from his will to win. Picture: Ken Macpherson

The absence of fans for the first time in the 27-year rivalry, though, will certainly feel strange.

“I’ve played for both teams twice and it means the same for both, nothing changes,” Vigurs said.

“You always want to win every game and you hate losing, but it’s heightened because it’s a derby.

“There are a few of us involved who’ve been at both clubs and, in any normal season, we would be the ones the supporters target on the night.

“It’s part and parcel of it with the supporters.

“I will miss that little element of being a pantomime villain because you tend to thrive on it. The sooner we get them back in the better.”

Vigurs’ derby record with Ross County reads 13 played, three won, two drawn and five lost.

For Caley Thistle, it is eight played, three won, one drawn and four lost.

His most memorable moment, surely, came in Ross County colours when – following his offloading at Caley Thistle under Terry Butcher – he returned to the Caledonian Stadium to net a cheeky back heel in a 3–1 win.

While the rivalry has always been fierce, there is none of the unsavoury baggage that accompanies some Scottish derbies.

“There’s always been a keen rivalry but it’s not a heated one,” he stressed.

“Both sides want both clubs playing in the Premiership. Us being there, doesn’t bring any extra pressure. It’s just another derby that all 22 players will be dying to win,

“The boys are really fired up for it. If you don’t enjoy these occasions as a player, you’re in the wrong game.”


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