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Ross County “need to start performing” to beat the drop

Midfielder Jackson Irvine has joined Ross County on a permanent deal.
Midfielder Jackson Irvine has joined Ross County on a permanent deal.

Ross County midfielder Jackson Irvine believes the next two home games will be pivotal to his side’s prospects of avoiding the Premiership drop, starting with today’s visit of Partick Thistle.

The Staggies currently share bottom spot with St Mirren, who are County’s next opponents after the game against the ninth-placed Jags.

County’s home form has been poor this season, with September’s 2-1 win against Dundee their only win at Victoria Park.

Irvine says that record must change soon and the Australian has targeted positive results in the next two games to help bring more teams within County’s range.

Irvine said: “Partick will be looking to get themselves away from the three below them. If we want to have any chance of escaping from where we are, we’re going to have to start drawing these teams back in.

“These are the most important games, the ones against teams around you in the table.

“The way our home form has gone has been really frustrating. We seem to have been able to pick up points here and there away from home but have struggled to do so at Dingwall.

“There have been positive performances here but it’s important we get that first win that gives everyone a lift and starts us on the road to putting a few results together.

“We need to start performing, scoring goals and, especially, start picking up form at home because it is home form that probably keeps teams in this league.”

Irvine is on loan at County from Celtic and netted his first goal for the Staggies in the 3-1 derby defeat by Caley Thistle on New Year’s Day.

The 21-year-old admits he is far from being a prolific scorer but at 6ft 2in he has challenged himself to provide more goal threat from set-pieces.

Irvine added: “That is my first goal here and only my second in all – I only scored one on loan at Kilmarnock last year.

“It was quite a rare occurrence for me but it is something that I’ve been seeking to add to my game, especially when I’ve been playing in a slightly more attacking role than last season, where I played a lot of games at centre back and right back.

“Hopefully, I can get a few more before the end of the season. I’ve been unlucky at times – I’ve had a few headers where goalkeepers have pulled off wonder saves. It would be nice to put one in the back of the net this weekend.”

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