After being left in the wilderness by Dundee United last summer, midfielder Ryan Dow feels wanted again by Ross County and is determined to get one over his former club in Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie.
Dow faced an uncertain future when he was let go by the Tangerines in the summer while he was still sidelined with a pelvic injury, forcing him to work his way back to fitness on his own until County manager Jim McIntyre offered him a contract in September.
The 25-year-old had struggled with the injury for more than a year, reducing him to 21 appearances in a turbulent season which saw which saw the Tayside outfit relegated after finishing bottom of the Premiership, leading to the sacking of Mixu Paatelainen, who had only replaced Jackie McNamara as manager less than seven months previously.
It was a disappointing end to Dundee-born Dow’s 10-year association with his home-town club. He made 112 appearances for United.
Dow is set to come up against his old side in this weekend’s fourth-round tie at Victoria Park and he said: “I had a wee smile when the draw was made. It’s just one of those things, I knew it was going to happen. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while, so it can’t come quick enough.
“It’s not really fazing me too much. I still know quite a lot of people there. But the way my time at United ended, leaving there still injured, left a little bit of a dark spot on my time there. That was a bit frustrating – the way that got handled.
“I don’t feel like I’ve got a point to prove. The only thing that marred my time at United was leaving still injured, which never got resolved.
“That was the only thing that annoyed me. Obviously, the last year, with the way things went, was bad. But I had really good years before that and enjoyed my time coming through the youths.
“There was a wee bit of bitterness there when I left but everything sorted itself out, so I’m sure it will be good to see some people on Saturday – as long as we win.”
Dow is thrilled with how far he has come since making the move to Dingwall, having rediscovered his fitness thanks to the help of Staggies physio Kevin Bain before going on to make 13 appearances, netting his first goal for the club to secure a 2-1 victory against Aberdeen last month.
Dow added: “It was difficult. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone – trying to get fit on my own which was the part that annoyed me.
“I was trying to figure out what my injury was. Luckily, I had people who I knew physio-wise and then I came here, Kevin identified what was wrong and what was needed.
“It was fixed fairly quickly, which was the annoying part, because it took that long before not to get fixed.
“Since then I’ve not looked back fitness-wise, it’s been good. I still do stuff Kevin tells me to do, it’s been going well and I’m enjoying it.”