Ross County attacker Billy Mckay is determined to repay the faith shown in him by co-managers Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell by rediscovering the prolific form he showed with rivals Caley Thistle.
Although Mckay had netted three prior goals in cup competitions, last weekend’s hat-trick in the impressive 5-1 victory over Dundee United got him off the mark in league action for the campaign.
Mckay has credited Kettlewell and Ferguson for sticking by him when goals proved hard to come by, and following his treble against United the 29-year-old is hoping to rekindle the goalscoring prowess he became renowned for at Caledonian Stadium.
Mckay, who netted 66 goals in 156 appearances over two spells with Inverness, said: “It was a massive lift. This season, goalscoring-wise, it hadn’t gone as well as I’d hoped.
“But I felt my form was there and I knew if I kept going goals would eventually come and on Saturday they all seemed to come at once.
“Since the two managers here came in, I’ve felt my performances have been good. Even at the start of this season, I felt I was getting in the right areas.
“As a player that’s what you want – the managers to back you.
“Whenever I’ve spoken to them, they’ve always said the goals will come. They spoke to me on the Friday about that role on my own up there, getting back to what I used to do at Inverness. It felt like that on Saturday.
“Hopefully I keep my place and the same happens on Saturday. Equally, if Brian Graham, Declan McManus or Ross Stewart come in, I’m more than happy to play with them.”
Mckay was not surprised by the margin of County’s victory over United last weekend but says the Dingwall side cannot expect it so plain-sailing every week, with County away to Partick Thistle today.
Northern Ireland international Mckay added: “I thought what happened on Saturday was a result that was coming and everything clicked nicely.
“Of course we would like to do that every week, but we know different games will present different circumstances. It is going to be tougher in a lot of matches.
“But it gives us great confidence going into the Partick Thistle game and for the rest of the season.”
The Jags have made an inconsistent start to the campaign since they were relegated from the Premiership along with County last season, and although Mckay is wary of Thistle’s threat he hopes to open up a gap with a victory at Firhill.
Second-placed County are five points ahead of Alan Archibald’s men, and Mckay added: “We know it is going to be a tough game. They’re a good team.
“I’ve played with a few of their players and there is real quality there. At the moment, they’ve been a little bit inconsistent but we won’t take anything for granted. We know we need a very good performance down there.
“It is only seven games into the season, so we know we just have to keep picking up points. If we can pick up points against teams like Partick and Dundee United, it moves us away from them a bit. We go there with confidence.”