Ross County ended a wait of nearly three months for a clean sheet last time out and defender Kenny van der Weg is determined to make life easier by earning more.
The 1-0 win against Hearts at Tynecastle last Wednesday ended a run of nine consecutive league games in which the Staggies had conceded, stretching back to a 0-0 draw against Dundee on December 10.
The Dingwall men have only secured five Premiership shut-outs all season, with only Motherwell and Caley Thistle conceding more than the 45 goals given away by Jim McIntyre’s men.
Dutchman Van der Weg, pictured below, reckons the defence must build on the display against fourth-placed Hearts to be in with a shout of a top six finish.
He said: “After a couple of months we had a clean sheet and that is so important. When we win games the defenders take confidence, and when the defenders can produce a sheet that’s better for the forwards.
“We needed the win against Hearts. It wasn’t an easy one, but I think we played really well. It doesn’t always come down to the players though, sometimes we need the luck.
“In our 1-0 defeat against Aberdeen we got unlucky and in a couple of games we lost late goals when we deserved more.”
The Staggies host Kilmarnock on Saturday before taking on rivals Caley Thistle in a vital Highland derby in Inverness the following weekend.
Van der Weg is targeting full points, with County five points adrift of sixth-placed Partick Thistle with only six games left before the split.
The 26-year-old added: “We have two important games, with the players we have we need to win these.
“The games are always like finals at the end of the season, they are very important. We need to go for the top six and we have the team for it, but we need to show we are good for it.”
County squandered a 2-1 half-time lead against Kilmarnock the last time they faced them at Rugby Park in January, eventually going down 3-2, and Van der Weg feels his side must replicate their first-half display to move the Staggies above the Ayrshire men in the table.
He added: “The last time we played against Killie the first half was really good and the second half was really bad, it was very different. If we play like we did in the first half at home I think we will have enough get a good result.”