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McIntyre confident goals will come for Staggies

Liam Boyce
Liam Boyce

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre is confident his side will soon produce more goal threat.

The bottom-placed Staggies are the lowest scorers in the Premiership, having found the net just 10 times, with six of their goals coming from leading scorer Liam Boyce, who started Northern Ireland’s 3-0 friendly defeat by Croatia on Tuesday.

Boyce and Dutch attacker Alex Schalk were both sidelined this season with knee ligament injuries but have since returned to fitness, while recent additions Chris Burke and Ryan Dow have enjoyed runs in the side after initially being short of match sharpness.

Of County’s 11 points, seven have come from games in which they have scored the first goal and McIntyre feels the Staggies stand a better chance of getting back among the goals with the options now at his disposal.

McIntyre said: “The first goal is huge at this level. The team that scores first generally goes on to win. We’ve done it three times and taken seven points this season. Equally, when we’ve lost the first goal, we’ve shown a reaction to get back in the match, but that does leave us open.

“There’s no doubt up front has been a problem for us, in terms of picking up injuries to Liam and Alex. Now we’ve got both fit that can only enhance our prospects of scoring goals.

“Liam has been in a lot of Northern Ireland’s squads and found it difficult to get games. He got the shout this week and I’m sure that will give him a boost.

“Chris Burke and Ryan Dow are also up to speed – their fitness levels are where they should be and it was always going to take four or five weeks. They’re where we want them to be and they’ll get stronger the more the games they play. The front end of the pitch is looking quite healthy just now.”

County take on St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park tomorrow in the first of eight matches before the winter break and, with just three points separating them from sixth-placed Caley Thistle, McIntyre is targeting a run of form to haul the Dingwall men off the foot of the table.

McIntyre added: “It’s a crucial period. With the teams so bunched together, it’s time to make our mark and try to get ourselves away from that group.

“It will be very difficult to do that. With what has gone on in the first 13 games, it is clear to see the teams are very evenly matched.

“It is just the way the league has been this year – quite crazy at times. But it just lets everyone know there is not very much between the teams and it is the fine margins that are winning and losing games.”

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