Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson has challenged attacker Ross Stewart to take his impressive recent form into today’s Highland derby against Caley Thistle.
Stewart has drawn plaudits in recent weeks after starting County’s last three games, with the 22-year-old repaying Ferguson and fellow co-manager Stuart Kettlewell with his first league goal for the Staggies in last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Partick Thistle.
Ferguson feels Stewart is beginning to blossom following his move from Premiership side St Mirren in the summer, and he said: “Stuart and I believe Ross has a huge amount to offer and has a real bright future ahead of him.
“I said before, we brought him to the club with a view to being longer-term, given his age and the stage he’s at in his development.
“We just feel he can do so much. He can play different areas of the pitch, he’s equally as comfortable playing on the sides as he is down the middle.
“At 6ft 4in, and being able to run the way he runs, is a huge asset for us, along with the fact he’s that height and can jump to become bigger.
“He’s got a decent spring and likes to attack the ball.
“I thought he was excellent against Partick last week and he was rewarded with his goal.
“We’re big believers in players getting out what they put in, and Ross is certainly putting it in.”
A sell-out crowd is expected for today’s derby encounter, with Ferguson hoping the Staggies use it to their advantage, adding: “I always feel at Victoria Park it’s a great venue for a derby. The supporters are nice and close to the pitch and Inverness will bring a good crowd and we’ll have a good crowd. It is set up for a great game.
“Both teams are coming off the back of wins before Christmas. Both teams will be confident, looking to take three points and start the second half of the season in the best possible way.
“I don’t think any visiting team dislikes coming to play at our place because the pitch is excellent and, with a decent crowd, it does create a better atmosphere than over the bridge. We want to turn that to our favour.”