Midfield duo for Staggies as McIntyre moves again

Jim McIntyre

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre has continued his January sales spending by signing midfielders Oscar Gobern and Milan Lalkovic.

Former England under-19 international Gobern, 25, has signed a deal until the end of the season after leaving English League Two side Mansfield Town, who he joined in the summer following spells with Southampton, Huddersfield Town and Queens Park Rangers.

Portsmouth wide player Lalkovic, who has 16 caps for Slovakia’s under-21 side, has signed on loan until the summer.

The Slovakian’s early promise with MFK Kosice earned a move to Chelsea in 2007, but following several loan spells he failed to make the breakthrough at Stamford Bridge, leaving for Mlada Boleslav in 2014.

The 24-year-old returned to England a year later with Barnsley and also played for Walsall before joining Pompey last summer.

Staggies manager Jim McIntyre tried to sign both players last summer, with the double capture taking his January additions to four following the arrivals of Jason Naismith and Jim O’Brien.

Both players could feature in today’s Scottish Cup fourth round tie against Dundee United and McIntyre said: “Milan is an exciting left midfielder who gets forward and puts teams on the back foot. He comes with a great pedigree having played for a number of big clubs in England and Europe, including Chelsea and Portsmouth. We tried to bring Milan in during the summer so when he became available we moved for him immediately.

“Oscar is left-footed, plays in centre midfield and, at six foot three inches, brings a real presence.

“He is another one we looked at in the summer so had no hesitation in moving for him when he became available.

“Oscar was at Mansfield, who offered him a contract extension, but I am delighted he has chosen to move to Dingwall.”

McIntyre wants his side to atone for their dire League Cup defence by sparking a Scottish Cup run in today’s fourth round tie against United.

County secured their first major silverware last season when they lifted the League Cup with a 2-1 victory against Hibernian in March. They were brought back down to earth just four months later, however, when they were eliminated at the group stages at the start of this season.

McIntyre said: “The cup is so important to every club. We saw last season how special it can be. But we’ve also seen this season if we’re not at our best, we’ll be out.

“That was sore for us, to go out of the League Cup in the group stages, so we want to make up for that by getting ourselves in the hat for the next round.”