Ross County manager Jim McIntyre reckons midfielder Ian McShane has handled the step up to the Premiership in style.
McShane joined the Staggies on a three-year deal from Championship side Queen of the South in the summer, where he had previously played for McIntyre during his spell in charge of the Doonhamers.
McIntyre has started the midfielder in all four of County’s Premiership games so far this season, and reckons the 22-year-old has yet to disappoint.
McIntyre said: “Ian has definitely impressed me. After signing him from the Championship, I hoped he would hit the ground running.
“Some of his performances have been very good. We were always mindful of having the extra game, three in a week, and we were going to make changes in the second half against Hearts on Saturday.
“But in the main he’s handling the step up well. It’s a learning curve for him and he will need to learn quickly.
“Players don’t get as much time or space, so they need to do things quicker in the Premiership.
“Quality on the ball is his main attribute. It’s just about making sure off the ball he is switched on, which he is, he is being vigilant. I’ve been pleased.
“Having Jackson Irvine, Rocco Quinn and Stewart Murdoch in midfield helps. We’ve got good options and those players are competing for two spots although in some matches we will go with three in central midfield.”
McIntyre was disappointed by his side’s 2-1 defeat against Hearts at the weekend, but believes the Staggies have improved massively since he replaced Derek Adams as manager last September.
McIntyre added: “The biggest frustration was the players knew we should not have conceded the goals we did and we gave ourselves a mountain to climb.
“The second goal in particular annoyed me as it was something we knew was going to happen but we switched off for a crucial moment.
“There are fine margins between winning and losing games and at this level teams get punished for mistakes.
“Our reaction to losing the two goals was excellent though. When I look at where we were at this stage last season, it is night and day compared.”