Ross County goalkeeper Aaron McCarey took no pleasure in witnessing Scott Fox’s embarrassing howler against Rangers but knew it might be the break he had waited months for.
Before Saturday’s start against Partick Thistle, the former Wolves goalkeeper had managed just six appearances, including one from the bench, since arriving in Dingwall in July 2016.
Fox has credited his friend and team-mate’s support and professionalism for driving him on to some of the best form of his career and with the roles reversed for now, McCarey knows he can count on Fox for the same.
The 25-year-old, who played for the Republic of Ireland at every level up to under 21, said: “It was nice to get the opportunity against Partick Thistle, I’m part of the squad here and everyone has a job to do, regardless whether I’m playing or not.
“Everyone knows goalkeeper is a unique position, with one in, one out, so if you’re not playing, chances are you’re not going to be playing for a sustained period of time.
“I came back in the summer, got my head down and worked hard.
“I said I was going to give it a real go and I’m committed here for two years. It’s nice to see that has been rewarded.
“Me and Scott have got a great relationship but, more importantly, a great professional relationship.
“When I’m not in the team I’m there for Scott to help him out and push him as much as I can. He’s done the same for me.
“He is a laid back guy and doesn’t let many things bug him.
“It’s part and parcel of being a goalkeeper as if one of us makes a mistake nine times out of 10 it’s going to end up in the net.
“He’s been fantastic in my spell here and won us more points than he’s lost. He’ll bounce back and he’ll be chomping at the bit to get back in.”
McCarey will be doing all he can to ensure Fox’s spell on the bench is anything but brief. He is not under-estimating the task, though.
The Monaghan-born player added: “I won’t take anything for granted. I’ve got to continue doing it on the training ground every single day or else Scott is there to come in.”
County attacker Alex Schalk salvaged a point at home to Partick by winning and scoring a penalty with four minutes remaining.
But the point was scant reward for the amount of chances created by the Dingwall team while trailing to Blair Spittal’s 22nd minute opener.
McCarey admitted: “If you break the whole game down, it’s frustrating. We totally dominated the game after coming out of the traps really fast. We put them under pressure and created a lot of pressure.
“We created havoc down the flanks but they scored against the run of play, which was a bad goal for us.
“We started the second half in the same way we started the first, but we were thinking it was never going to happen. We dug deep when we went down to 10 men late on, with Chris Routis going off injured. They showed great determination to get that goal.”