Ross County midfielder Don Cowie believes the appointment of two of his former managers at the Staggies’ Championship rivals will intensify the race for the title.
Cowie played under new Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson when the pair were at Hearts, while his spell at Wigan Athletic coincided with that of Gary Caldwell, who has been appointed at Partick Thistle.
Former Scotland international Cowie, who returned for a second spell with the Staggies in the summer, believes the arrival of Neilson and Caldwell has added a further twist to an already competitive league.
County are two points adrift of leaders Ayr United, who the Staggies host today, and Cowie said: “They will get a response, there’s no doubting that.
“Both clubs have got good players. Sometimes it just needs a wee change just to give it that wee spark.
“I know both managers really well. Robbie got a great win last week away to Partick, they have got a big squad there and he will feel confident he can get them going in the right direction.
“I’m sure Gary will feel the same at Partick. It’s still early enough, there’s not a huge gap in the league where he feels it’s a mountain to climb. He will be looking to get them going really quickly and get them up that table.
“It has probably just added more competitiveness to the league. It’s important we focus on ourselves though, we keep chipping away and getting those wins to make it hard for us to be caught.
“Our focus is on the Ayr game this week which will be very difficult, but I feel we’ve got enough to beat them.”
The managerial changes at Tannadice and Firhill were triggered by County victories at both venues, and Cowie feels his side’s recent results have shown they are ready take off on a run of form.
He said: “I think the last two results might have sent out a statement – that we are starting to gel, we are getting better as the weeks go on.
“Looking at the squad and the options the management have got, we feel confident. We always felt confident we had enough here to do a lot of damage in the league.
“Sometimes it just takes a bit of time to get going. Getting those last two results has really given us the confidence we can kick on for the rest of the season.”
Cowie is determined to take the opportunity to reclaim top spot in the Championship with a victory over Ian McCall’s side at Victoria Park today, adding: “Fair play to Ayr, they have had a tremendous start to the season. They are full of confidence and scoring lots of goals.
“It’s a big challenge, but one we are looking forward to because we know if we can get the three points we can get to the top of the table – which is where we want to be.”