Ross County are seeking revenge when they return to Cappielow to face Morton tonight, however defender Callum Morris believes the Staggies’ early season defeat may have served as a wake up call about life in the Championship.
After opening the campaign with back-to-back wins following their relegation from the Premiership last season, County tasted defeat in the second-tier for the first time when they went down 2-1 against the Ton on August 25.
The Dingwall men have shown a strong response with just one league defeat from their 16 league matches since, putting them three points clear at the top of the table ahead of tonight’s encounter with Jonatan Johansson’s side.
Morris, who joined from Championship rivals Dunfermline in the summer, feels the defeat may have inadvertently served the Staggies well, and he said: “I played there a few times last season, it’s a tough place to go. Looking back on it now the defeat might have been a good thing. A lot of the boys were playing in the Premiership last season and although there’s not a lot between the leagues, there is a difference in playing style sometimes.
“You go to places like Cappielow, where the pitch is small, there is a little bit of a hill and they just want to turn it into a dogfight. They didn’t cut the grass before the game.
“That’s what you are going to get week-in, week-out. You’ve got to adapt to that quickly and sometimes getting a defeat like that early on, when it didn’t have that much of an effect on the league standings, might have been a good thing in retrospect.
“The boys then knew what it was going to be like. It’s going to be easy, we are going to have to dig in sometimes and absorb the bombardment of long balls, and make sure we are resolute, get the goals and pick up points away from home.”
Morris is eager to capitalise on the opportunity to move six points clear of Ayr United, who face Falkirk tomorrow, and the 28-year-old added: “If you’ve got the points on board it means people have to go and chase you. If you have games in hand, it’s not a given you are going to win those games.
“Hopefully we can go down there and do the business and get the three points to put a little gap there. It’s a brilliant opportunity for ourselves.”
Morris was pleased to return to action in last Saturday’s 2-1 Highland derby victory over Caley Thistle at Victoria Park, having missed a month of action with a nerve-related injury, adding: “It’s a tough one – on a personal note it’s horrible, but it’s great to see other boys coming in and doing well. It just shows we are all pulling in the same direction.
“There’s one cause come the end of the season, that’s promotion, and we are pushing towards that. It all starts again against Morton.”