Liam Fontaine says Ross County’s players must not be overcome by the pressure of tomorrow’s bottom-of-the-table Premiership match against Partick Thistle.
The Staggies, in bottom spot, have fallen two points adrift of tomorrow’s opponents with three games remaining, meaning a victory for the Jags at Firhill would virtually end the Staggies’ hopes of top-flight survival.English defender Fontaine insists the Dingwall men should relish the encounter as they look to take advantage of the opportunity to leapfrog Alan Archibald’s men into 11th-place with a win of their own.
Fontaine said: “These are the sort of situations where you need people who thrive in them.
“You don’t need people who go under.
“Whatever players are on that pitch, you are going to need all 14 who can take part on the day to be pulling that same direction, enjoying the pressure and not getting beaten by the pressure.
“All the games after the split, you go into as must-win games. The sooner you can get the points on board, the better. Our next focus is Friday, if we can get the win it takes us off the bottom of the table.
“Then we would go into the game against Dundee on Tuesday, which would then become the next biggest game of the season.
“All focus has to be on Friday, I’m not even worry-ing about anything after that.
“All you can do is try your best and if it’s not meant to be it won’t be.”
Fontaine is one of several players out of contract in the summer, having joined County on a short-term contract from Hibernian in January.
The 32-year-old has put injury troubles at Easter Road behind him, with 11 appearances for the Staggies, and he insists County’s struggles have not dampened his enjoyment of his stint at Victoria Park, adding: “I came here with the intention of getting back playing football, which I have done consecutively.
“If I’m being watched – whether it be here or elsewhere – I have got to keep putting out good performances for myself.
“We have got a challenge as a team to win and survive in this league.
“My main reason for coming was for the challenge that it was.
“Even with the situation we are in, I’m still enjoying every moment I step on to that pitch.
“On a personal note last year was not a great year for me, so I’m genuinely just enjoying playing football despite the situation.
“People might just see the situation as a downer because we’re battling for relegation but I’m thriving in it and enjoying the battle.”