Ross County manager Jim McIntyre believes debutants Jim O’Brien and Milan Lalkovic gave supporters a taste of what is to come with promising performances off the bench in Saturday’s 6-2 Scottish Cup victory against Dundee United.
The Staggies raced to an emphatic win against the Championship side, setting up a fifth-round tie at home to Aberdeen which will be played on the weekend of February 11 and 12.
McIntyre introduced on-loan Shrewsbury Town midfielder O’Brien as a half-time substitute, with the former Motherwell player making a strong impression with a debut goal in stoppage time.
Slovakian midfielder Lalkovic, who has joined on loan from Portsmouth until the end of the season, also showed his manager encouraging signs in the final 11 minutes of the match and McIntyre reckons they will only get better with more game time.
He said: “Jim and Milan will provide that spark. They have got that bit of quality. I’m excited when I see them get on the ball. They look to make things happen and are both very dynamic in terms of wanting to get at people to hurt teams.
“It will take a few weeks for them to get up to speed in what’s expected in terms of our team shape but I certainly thought they made a good start on Saturday.
“All our substitutes did well. Young Reghan Tumilty deserves a special mention as I felt he did very well when he came on.”
Another of County’s recent signings, defender Jason Naismith, was cup-tied for Saturday’s match due to his previous involvement in the competition with St Mirren.
McIntyre believes Naismith, 22, can make a strong impact in the side but also has the future in mind having secured him on a deal until 2020.
McIntyre added: “He’s got key attributes – his size for one. He’s a modern-day full back and a good defender.
“He will just get better and better the more experience he gathers, hence why we offered him a three-and-a-half year contract.”