Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson is confident the Staggies’ professional pride will prevent his players switching off in Friday’s potential Championship title clincher at home to Queen of the South.
The Staggies have all but secured the title, with the Dingwall men six points clear of second placed Dundee United with two games remaining, and 18 goals better off, meaning a point against Queens will officially confirm them as champions.
Ferguson believes the Staggies players’ determination to finish off the job in style will prevent them taking their foot off the gas in their final home game of the campaign, and he said: “We wouldn’t let that happen – and the players’ professional pride wouldn’t let that happen.
“They have put so much into the season. It could happen – there’s always a potential for it.
“We explained to the players how big the game on Friday past was and how it would make the last two games a different type of challenge.
“But they’ve put so much into the season, it is difficult just to flick that switch off.
“They will feel they want to finish the job properly and make sure it gets put to bed – and we have a chance to do that.”
Ferguson has reason to be wary of Queens, with Gary Naysmith’s side the only Championship team they have yet to defeat this term, adding: “We’re not going to underestimate Queen of the South, of all teams. People will tell you they’ve been our bogy team this season.
“I can’t disagree, because we’ve not managed to beat them. We’ve had two draws and we were convincingly beaten down there.
“Playing them at home is a different proposition. We’d prefer to be on our pitch than theirs, but Queens are still extremely dangerous with the fight they have on their hands.
“Back when they beat us, Queens were talking about the play-offs and it just shows how difficult this league is. They’re now fighting to stay in the league.
“There are no givens. There’s nothing we’d like more than a given at this stage in the season, but there are none.”
County were handed a further boost by the return of midfielder Iain Vigurs (foot) and Liam Fontaine (achilles) in Monday’s reserve match against Dundee, which the Staggies won 5-1, with Ferguson hoping they will both play a part before the end of the campaign.
He added: “The season is probably coming to an end to quickly for those two. Everyone else is feeling a bit battle-weary, but it was massive them playing minutes in the reserve game.
“They will be involved in the squad on Friday.”