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Rangers clash County’s chance to bounce back from losses

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre
Ross County manager Jim McIntyre

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre has demanded a response from his players as they bid to bounce back from back-to-back losses when they face Rangers at Ibrox today.

The Dingwall club’s manager has been exasperated by the way simple errors of judgment have cost his team valuable points, with Tuesday’s loss at home to Motherwell the latest glaring example.

Experienced defender Jay McEveley let one long ball slip under his foot for Scott Mcdonald’s opener, before Louis Moult was able to punish lax marking from a corner to net a simple winner.

But with the push for top-six places still very much alive, McIntyre can only keep hammering home the message and working his players hard on cutting out the mistakes.

Twice this season already County have held Mark Warburton’s side to draws in the league and McIntyre said: “We’ve had some good results against the bigger sides over the last couple of seasons and we’re going to need that again.

“The one thing we can always guarantee from these players is a response.

“You look at your team individually for each game. Obviously, when you’ve lost two games in a row there’s a good possibility there might be changes to the team, that’s just the way football is.

“But we’ve got good players here – players who are playing really well for periods of the game but then maybe making a really poor decision that’s costing a goal.

“All I’m looking for is to learn from that and to make sure they aren’t letting it happen again.”

The positives there were for County from the Motherwell defeat came in the shape of new signings.

Milan Lalkovic, a loan capture from Portsmouth, impressed from the bench and won the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award, while Jason Naismith, the young defender plucked from St Mirren for a cash fee, was an equally positive substitution.

McIntyre said: “Jason did very well and Milan, too, which was encouraging. Martin Woods and Alex Schalk were excellent as well.

“We’ve also created better goalscoring opportunities on the night than Motherwell, but just not taken them.

“With mistakes at one end giving us a lot to do, the players showed the character in the second half to go and create but, unfortunately for us, we didn’t show that little bit of extra quality to put the ball in the net.

“The positives for me were, without a shadow of doubt, coming back to create the chances and obviously some individual performances on the night. But we can’t just have three or four players who are on the money. We need more.”

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