Forwards must fill void left by Boyce

Thomas Mikkelsen has struggled for game time at Ross County.

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre has told all four of his attackers they must share the responsibility of getting the goals lost following the sale of attacker Liam Boyce.

Northern Ireland international Boyce, who ended last season as the Premiership’s leading scorer with 23 goals, left to join English Championship side Burton Albion in a £500,000 deal earlier this summer.

McIntyre has added Danish attacker Thomas Mikkelsen, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Dundee United, and former Caley Thistle forward Billy Mckay, while Alex Schalk and Craig Curran remain from last season.

Boyce finished the Dingwall side’s leading scorer in each of his three seasons with the Staggies after joining from Cliftonville in 2014.

McIntyre believes it will take a combined effort to replace his goals in the coming season and said: “There’s nobody guaranteed a game and the players all know that. They are all right behind each other which is the most important thing.

“People go on about replacing Liam but it’s not about that. It’s about replacing his goals. Liam is irreplaceable. But we’ve now got four forwards who can do different things. It’s about those four and the midfielders all chipping in with their share to cover the loss of Liam.

“Forwards are there to all chip in and play their part. Whichever two, or one, plays depending on the system we go with, it’s up to them to take it on and get the goals required, but it is also about the team making sure we create the chances for the forwards.

“I’ve been asked a few times whether this player or that is a direct replacement for Liam, but none of them are. What they are is a group of players we feel will definitely get us the goals required to have a successful season.”

Mikkelsen made an impact after coming off the bench in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Arbroath in the Betfred Cup, twice being denied by excellent saves from Red Lichties goalkeeper David Hutton before the Staggies went on to take the bonus point with a 5-4 penalty shootout win.

McIntyre was encouraged by his display, adding: “He’s a threat, he’s a bit unorthodox compared to our other forwards but that will cause teams problems. He’s a real threat in the air.

“All the forwards had chances on Saturday so long may that continue.”