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McIntyre relishing Staggies’ first Ibrox visit

Jim McIntyre led Ross County to Premiership survival  and Betfred Cup success.
Jim McIntyre led Ross County to Premiership survival and Betfred Cup success.

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre is determined to make his club’s first visit to Ibrox a memorable one on Saturday when the Staggies take on Rangers.

County play their first league fixture against the Gers, who were promoted from the Championship last season, with the two sides having twice met twice in the Scottish Cup prior to their last encounter – a 2-1 win for Rangers in the League Cup in November 2001.

Mark Warburton’s Light Blues suffered a crushing 5-1 defeat by Celtic in the first Old Firm derby of the season at Parkhead on Saturday and, although McIntyre is wary of a backlash, he believes his side can cause Rangers problems.

McIntyre said: “The chairman is really looking forward to going there for Ross County’s first visit to Ibrox. It’s a good moment for the club but we want to make sure it’s memorable and we go there and get a result.

“They will certainly be busting a gut to show their supporters a reaction. Whichever Old Firm team loses it’s a devastating result for them, but the manner of the way they lost on Saturday means we should beware the wounded animal.

“They will be desperate to make up for that and put on a really strong performance, especially at home where they are very strong, so we know we have our work cut out. But we know we are a good side and we know we can cause problems.

“It’s up to us to make sure we get our gameplan spot on and that we threaten Rangers.”

McIntyre last week bolstered his attacking options with the signing of former Dundee United player Ryan Dow but the Staggies manager says his new addition is still short of match fitness having been sidelined for much of last season with a groin injury.

McIntyre is confident Dow can make a strong impression on the side once he regains sharpness and added: “He is a good bit away. He has done one week with the team – previous to that he had an injury that he struggled to get over.

“He is over that hopefully and we just have to make sure we ease him in gently. I don’t expect to see him for the next few weeks. A lot of his football came playing on the left-hand side in a slightly different system, but we are confident that he can play anywhere on either side or off the front. He has great versatility and provides that competition, which is what we need.”

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