Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson has challenged winger Davis Keillor-Dunn to grasp his opportunity should he replace the injured Michael Gardyne at Partick Thistle tomorrow.
Gardyne underwent surgery on a broken foot yesterday after picking up the injury in last weekend’s 5-1 win at Dundee United, with the 32-year-old expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks.
Keillor-Dunn was given the nod to replace Gardyne after just seven minutes at Tannadice, and played his part in a stunning victory for the Staggies.
Although Keillor-Dunn has found opportunities limited this season, with his only two starts coming in IRN-BRU Cup ties against Hearts colts and Raith Rovers, Ferguson has urged the 20-year-old to be ready to impress should be get his chance at Firhill.
Ferguson said: “Michael is out from the squad we travelled with last week, which gives somebody else an opportunity.
“The reason we have a squad of 20 players like we’ve got is to make sure when situations like this come up, we have somebody champing at the bit to fill the boots of the unfortunate person to come out of the team.
“Davis is one of a number of players can play in that area of the pitch, and he definitely comes into that bracket.
“Some guys have had to be patient, and will not have had as much game time as they would have liked. This is the opportunity, when it comes, that players need to grab with both hands to make sure they stay in the team.”
Following last weekend’s impressive result against United, Ferguson is demanding consistency from the Dingwall men, who are two points adrift of Championship leaders Ayr United.
He added: “The Dundee United result was great and we take all the positives from that. But that result becomes a better one if we can win at Partick Thistle on Saturday.
“It would be an early marker put down about where we are in our development.
“The fact we come off the back of United last week, and go and play Partick this week, just shows what a tough, but exciting league the Championship is.
“Partick are similar to ourselves, dropping down from the Premiership last year. They will have aspirations to put that right and try to get out of the league.
“That makes it a really dangerous place to go, because we can certainly fall foul to Partick if we go there and don’t play to our maximum.
“We are trying to push the bar all the time, but there is that bit of perspective in it as well. We did have a good result, and we feel if we continue doing what we are doing we will get that consistency.
“The important thing is that we do this over a number of weeks, not just for one week.”