Ross County manager Jim McIntyre reckons his wide players could hold the key to helping the Staggies remain in the Premiership.
County defeated Motherwell 3-2 on Saturday, with midfielders Michael Gardyne and Raffaele De Vita both impressing, the latter netting a sublime third goal to secure the points on his debut.
McIntyre reckons County’s wide men have struggled for consistency this season, but felt the display of Gardyne and De Vita was the catalyst for a victory which moved bottom-placed County within three points of the Steelmen and St Mirren.
McIntyre said: “Wide players can be quite up and down and patchy with their form. We’ve certainly seen that this season, but both Michael and Raffaele were excellent on Saturday.
“Raffaele is a clever player. He can use both feet and come inside or go outside. As we saw on Saturday, he’s got a good final ball, which is something we’ve not had consistently this season.
“We’ve got other good wide players here who can produce that moment of brilliance, but we need to do that more often.
“Michael did great as well. We didn’t have Michael for five weeks due to his rib injury and he was a miss.
“He can come on and light up a game, or start and do what he did. He showed a real hunger and willingness.
“The one thing they’re constantly encouraged to do is take men on and make things happen – that’s why they’re playing in that position. They both took that on board.”
Midfielder Martin Woods’ opener gave County the lead at home for just the second time this season, with the first resulting in their only other win at Victoria Park, a 2-1 victory against Dundee on September 27 last year.
McIntyre felt getting the first goal gave the home supporters a long overdue lift, and wants his team to continue earning the crowd’s backing as the Dingwall club tries to climb off the bottom of the table.
McIntyre added: “I’ve spoken numerous times about the first goal and how important it is.
“It lights up the crowd. It gives them a lift and they get right behind their team.
“It’s a two-way thing. It’s up to us to entertain the supporters and give them something to shout about.
“I thought the supporters were excellent on Saturday and the win was a long time coming for them.”