Ross County took a valuable point from their last fixture against Rangers but their long wait for a victory continues into this weekend’s trip to St Johnstone.
The Staggies have now played 10 matches since their last victory, a 2-0 triumph against Kilmarnock on August 20.
While the 1-1 draw against the Gers is among a handful of creditable results clocked up by Jim McIntyre’s side during that run, along with goalless draws at Ibrox and Tynecastle, the inability to put three points on board in recent weeks has proven costly as the Dingwall men now find themselves bottom of the table.
It was never going to be an easy run for County – six of their last eight games have come against teams currently occupying positions in the top-five – however the manner of their 4-1 loss to fellow strugglers Motherwell last month was more than enough cause for alarm.
County will aim to end their barren run at McDiarmid Park this weekend, where only seven of the 19 points racked up by fifth-placed Saints have come. Tommy Wright’s men have been a model of consistency for several years but County will take hope from the fact Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle have succeeded in taking maximum points from recent trips to Perth.
Key to the Staggies’ hopes could be getting the first goal. Although the Highlanders showed resilience to come from behind against Rangers, the bulk of their 11 points have come from the rare occasions in which they have taken the lead. Only three times has that happened this term, but County have taken seven points from a possible nine in those fixtures.
County have taken some steps recently towards addressing their early-season over-reliance on the talismanic Liam Boyce, who accounted for six of his side’s first seven league goals of the campaign. The Northern Irishman is still looking for his first goal since returning from a knee ligament injury, and although other members of the team have come to the fore with goals in recent weeks there is no doubt County stand a better chance of winning games when Boyce is on song.
Dutchman Alex Schalk also had to endure a spell on the sidelines due to a similar injury, but he showed his threat with a classy finish befitting of more than a consolation in the defeat against Motherwell, and he has proven on plenty occasions he can come up with the goods when his side need them most. Recent additions Ryan Dow and Chris Burke have also started to settle into their stride with more game time, having been signed outwith the transfer window, and McIntyre will hope the best has yet to come from the pair.
Games will come thick and fast in the festive period, with the upcoming eight games crucial for County given their current predicament. The Staggies have not been cut adrift, with only three points separating them from Caley Thistle in sixth, so the incentive to produce a winning run is there for all to see.
What better time to kick start it by coming back up the A9 with three points this weekend?