Ross County goalkeeper Scott Fox has hailed second-choice Aaron McCarey for keeping him on his toes throughout the season.
Fox, who joined the Staggies from Partick Thistle in 2015, has continued to be manager Jim McIntyre’s first choice after the arrival of Irishman McCarey from Wolves last summer.
Although McCarey has found opportunities limited, deputising on just five occasions, Fox credits the 25-year-old with keeping his own standards high through his competitiveness in training.
Fox said: “If you don’t have competition you could maybe drop the ball sometimes, or drop off in training.
“Aaron has been there all along, pushing me all the way. I know if I don’t perform, he’s going to step in. That comes with having a great squad. The goalkeepers are pretty tight. We speak with each other, we’re not afraid to share opinions and we talk about it a lot.
“It has been hard on Aaron but he’s been brilliant with me. He’s not downed the tools in training or anything like that.
“He’s worked hard and he’s given me support as well when I’ve made mistakes. He’s given me a good bit of backing and he’s probably protected me a bit as well.
“It’s a close-knit squad, we’ve looked after each other and it shows in my performances, who I’ve got behind me pushing me to get to the best of my ability.”
Fox believes McCarey’s patience will pay off, adding: “I’ve been in that situation and I know how hard it is. But your time will come – it always does.
“Goalkeeping is strange, small things happen. It’s happened with me before. I missed a game once, then the goalkeeper came in and saved a penalty and I never played for three months. It just happens.
“It’s about the manager’s decisions as well and what he sees. I’ve been fortunate to get the nod this season and my performances have worked into getting the new deal as well.”