Ross County have enjoyed a far softer Championship landing than Partick Thistle but Staggies co-manager Steven Ferguson feels today’s opponents will be eager to be in the race for promotion next season.
Both County and the Jags saw lengthy top-flight stays ended through relegation last term, but while County sit in top spot and on the verge of an instant return to the Premiership, Thistle are two points adrift of Alloa Athletic in ninth place ahead of today’s Victoria Park encounter.
Should Partick stave off the threat of a second successive relegation, Ferguson feels Gary Caldwell’s side will be aiming to be back among the top spots next term.
Ferguson said: “Partick are a big city club with really good players and a great fanbase. Gary Caldwell is a manager who knows what he wants and tries to get what he’s looking for.
“They came down above us last year and there has been a contrast regarding where we are to where they are, but they are still a team who will feel they should be at the top end of the Championship and striving to get back into the Premiership.
“They’ll be desperate to make sure they stay in the Championship so they can mount that challenge next season.
“They’re a good side and we know they have players who can hurt you, but they’re also a team, we’ve managed to beat three times. We’re expecting a tough game but we want to make sure we get the three points.”
County will be without midfielder Ross Draper with a knee injury, while defender Kenny van der Weg is also likely to miss out with a hamstring injury.
The Dutchman was replaced by teenager Tom Grivosti who netted the winner in Tuesday’s victory over Dunfermline, and Ferguson has no qualms about handing the Englishman a starting chance.
He added: “We trust Tom, the players trust Tom. He’s a very good user of the ball, with a good understanding of the game.
“We don’t weaken our team in any shape or form by Tom playing, even though he’s a young lad.
“His goal shows how hungry he is and his desire to do well – it was a fantastic header.
“He gets us the goal, but he also defends really well.”