It needs to “come from within” if Staggies are to avoid relegation, says Steven Ferguson

Ross County interim co-managers Stuart Kettlewell (right) and Steven Ferguson

Ross County interim co-manager Steven Ferguson believes the Staggies can’t just rely on their supporters to lift them as they battle to avoid relegation from the top flight.

County have home advantage on Saturday in a crucial relegation clash with Hamilton Accies but Ferguson says it means nothing unless the players dig deep and take personal responsibility for results.

He said: “The fans play a part but we can’t just be relying on them to lift us, it needs to come within.

“We would love them to give us a lift, I’m sure they will.

“They always do when the chips are down and of course, we will need that on Saturday.

“But the responsibility lies with the staff and players.

“It’s having that accountability that’s going to get the result we need.”

Accies are on a high after back-to-back wins lifted them to ninth place. They now sit eight points clear of County and Ferguson believes they are coming to Dingwall as favourites.

It may only be the second match since Ferguson and co-manager Stuart Kettlewell were handed the reins until the end of the season but there’s no doubt around the town about how much pressure is riding on this one.

“It’s a huge game,” said Ferguson. “We’re under no illusions how difficult it is going to be.

“Everybody keeps writing off Hamilton and you have to give their staff and players a huge amount of credit because every time they are written off they come away with some sort of result.

“They’ll be coming up here as favourites with their tails up. We need to make sure we’re ready for that.”

Hamilton manager Martin Canning is a former team-mate of Ferguson’s and the pair both played a part in County’s escape from relegation in 2003 when the Staggies won three of their final four matches to survive on goal difference.

While it’s a happy memory, 40-year-old Ferguson is only interested in the here and now.

He added: “You draw on everything you can, not just your own playing career. We were in a relegation battle in 2003 but what I can say is that it’s totally different when you’re on the pitch compared to when you’re at the side of the pitch.

“We are doing all we can to prepare the players in a way they feel comfortable with and a way they believe in. We need to believe that we’re doing things right and we believe we can go and get a result against Accies on Saturday.”