Ross County are hopeful winger Michael Gardyne will quickly bounce back after limping off in last night’s 2-0 friendly loss to Belgian side Sint-Truiden with a freak ankle injury.
Gardyne, who came on at half-time during the friendly at Doorwerth, suffered the injury midway through the second half after catching a water sprinkler, with Tony Dingwall coming back on to replace him.
Staggies co-manager Stuart Kettlewell is optimistic the 32-year-old will make a speedy recovery, and he said: “We are hoping it’s maybe not as bad as first thought. With these types of injuries, we will not find out until the morning.
“He rolled his ankle so we will get a look at him, but with the type of lad Michael is, we are not able to pin him down too long. We are pretty sure we will get him on the road to recovery sooner rather than later.”
Despite the result, Kettlewell was delighted with the workout against a slick Belgian outfit, ahead of another stern test tomorrow against Dutch side FC Utrecht, who finished fifth in the Eredivisie last season.
Kettlewell added: “The result was always going to be irrelevant, and the same goes for Friday. We wanted to try and push the boundaries a little bit, hence why we have taken the two friendlies we have taken.
“One or two of our younger lads have never played at that level before, they have never seen players of that quality, that play at that pace with those different types of movements.
“I think the better test you can get, it asks different questions of your players and their organisation, fitness levels and ultimately their quality will be tested.
“We have ticked every box against really tough opponents. The game was played in the proper manner, and we take it as a huge positive going into Friday against Utrecht, which will be a very tough game against high quality opposition. That’s what we wanted from the trip.”
County have also announced English defender Liam Fontaine will be vice-captain as deputy for Marcus Fraser, and Kettlewell said: “Liam has been a captain at a really high level. Everybody around the squad has so much respect for him, with the way he approaches things and the way he speaks.
“He’s a thinker, he doesn’t shout and bawl. He’s obviously somebody we thought about in terms of captaincy, we had that mindset of Marcus being the captain at a younger age, somebody that’s looking to progress, with a burning desire to kick on in his career.
“Liam has been there, but we also feel he’s got that idea he wants to stay at the highest level he can, and achieve as much success as he possibly can. It fits really well for us.”
l Staggies on tour – P53