Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson believes the Staggies must thwart Queen of the South’s attacking threat if they are to make their first breakthrough against the Doonhamers this season.
Queens are the only side County have failed to defeat in the Championship so far this term, with a 0-0 stalemate between the sides at Palmerston in September followed by a 1-1 draw at Victoria Park in December.
Ferguson believes Queens’ forward players – most notably 30-goal striker Stephen Dobbie – have the potential to cause the Staggies problems, and he said: “We’ve found it difficult against Queens this year – they’re a well-organised team and work extremely hard.
“They take advantage of their pitch down there and, with the travel for us, we’ve found it a difficult place to go.
“What Queens always carry is that work ethic and togetherness – but also a fantastic goal threat.
“Any team with a goal threat has a chance, so we’re under no illusions. We’ve had two tough games previously and in the third meeting, both teams will know each other.
“It’s going to be extremely hard.”
County remain three points clear at the top of the Championship, with last week’s 1-0 defeat to Morton seeing them miss out on the opportunity to double their advantage, given Ayr United’s loss to Falkirk.
Ferguson insists the Staggies must not dwell on the loss, adding: “It was without doubt an opportunity missed, but I think results over the weekend just show how difficult this Championship is.
“People were asking if we were surprised we were not punished more than we were after not winning on Friday night, but I genuinely wasn’t surprised.
“Looking at the fixtures and how the clubs are fighting for absolutely everything, there’s always a wee twist and turn to come.
“Dundee United, Ayr and Caley Thistle were all at home and none of them won, while only one of them got a point.
“I think that’s credit to how competitive the league is.”
County’s squad is depleted, with Brian Graham and Marcus Fraser suspended, Stelios Demetriou, Iain Vigurs and Liam Fontaine out long-term while Sean Kelly, Callum Morris and Don Cowie remain doubtful.
Ferguson added: “When you put it all into the pot, there’s a heck of a lot going on, but every club will have their problems. It is all about how we deal with it and how we bounce back from Friday.”