County must move on from “horrible” December, says Coyle

Ross County manager Owen Coyle.

Ross County manager Owen Coyle is confident a tweaked Staggies squad can put a “horrible” December behind them when they return to action later this month.

County signed off for the winter break with a 2-0 defeat at Partick Thistle on December 30, which left them three points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership.

Coyle has already added Aberdeen midfielder Greg Tansey on loan until the end of the season, and is keen to add further faces before the Dingwall outfit return in next Saturday’s Scottish Cup fourth round tie at Kilmarnock.

Coyle wants to recapture the initially bright form shown by the Staggies when he replaced Jim McIntyre in September, winning three of his opening six matches.

Coyle said: “For me, it is not about what is missing. It is putting the bits of the jigsaw together.

“We’ve already shown what we can do in a very good October and November, looking at performances. When we came in we took 10 points from six games, which was a very good reaction.

“Since then we’ve had one or two good performances but when all said and done, we’ve got what we’ve got.

“There is no getting away from it, we had a horrible December – some it self-inflicted, some of it not.

“But we didn’t do well enough in December. Even looking at the two home games against Kilmarnock and St Johnstone we should probably be sitting with four extra points.

“There’s little bits that need fine-tuning and that will give us a team that can win games and move up the league to where we want to be.”

Hamilton Accies defender Ioannis Skondras has been handed a five-match ban for excessive misconduct in his side’s 3-2 victory against Ross County last month.

Greek defender Skondras was sent-off following a melee involving numerous players from both sides towards the end of the New Douglas Park encounter on December 16, before being charged by the Scottish FA.

Having already served two matches of the suspension, Skondras will now miss matches against Partick Thistle and Motherwell, with the fifth match only being imposed if he receives another red card.

Skondras said: “I feel happy that the panel were kind to me. They did their job, they weren’t listening to the media and what people were saying.

“They focused on the actual incident, and judged it on that, not all the speculation.”