Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson says the Staggies’ recent injury problems have forced them to dip into the transfer market earlier than expected.
County yesterday had a busy day of transfer activity at Victoria Park, with defender Kenny van der Weg returning to the club and midfielder Lewis Spence joining from Dundee on 18-month deals.
The Staggies also confirmed two departures, with midfielder Tony Dingwall released from his contract and expected to join League 1 side Raith Rovers, while winger Davis Keillor-Dunn has been loaned out to Championship rivals Falkirk for the rest of the season.
County have suffered from a horrendous succession of injuries in recent weeks, with defenders Liam Fontaine, Callum Morris, Stelios Demetriou and Sean Kelly sidelined, along with midfielder Iain Vigurs, and Ferguson says he and fellow co-manager Stuart Kettlewell have been forced to seek reinforcements.
Ferguson said: “Four or five weeks ago, we were looking at the transfer window and thinking we were actually not in a bad position.
“We felt some of the ones who were injured, then, would be back by January but what has happened is some have taken longer and we’ve picked up more injuries.
“Stuart and I looked at it and felt there was such a long way to go in this campaign, and we were a little bit bare. We’ve acted quickly to put something in place.
“In saying that, we were always looking – and if the right player came up we would act.
“Kenny and Lewis are examples of those we really admired and we knew there was a chance we could get them.”
Dutchman Van der Weg returns to County having previously made 59 appearances during an 18-month stint before leaving to join Hamilton Accies last January. The 27-year-old spent the first six months of this season with Belgian club Roeselare.
Spence, 22, joins the Staggies following his departure from Dundee, who he joined from Dunfermline in 2017.
Both players could play in tomorrow’s Championship fixture away to Queen of the South should they receive international clearance, and Ferguson added: “Of course it helps Kenny is a known quantity – Kenny and his partner like the area. He knows the area and is familiar with the group as well as Stuart and I. That makes the bedding in transition really simple and quick.
“Lewis is a young guy with real desire and hunger to do well. That will be a simple enough transition. He has played here as an opposition player and is familiar with a couple of the guys in the squad he has played with previously.”
Ferguson also confirmed Michael Gardyne has been subject to an inquiry from Dundee, who are managed by former Staggies boss Jim McIntyre, however the winger has indicated he is keen to remain at Victoria Park.