McManus fired up as County head for Holland

Declan McManus.
Declan McManus.

Ross County’s Declan McManus is determined to hit the ground running as he prepares for a return to the Premiership with the Staggies.

County continue their pre-season build-with a trip to the Netherlands this week ahead of the Betfred Cup starting next week.

McManus confirmed he is really looking forward to visiting the Dutch excursion and said: “We went over there last year and it was a good trip.

“But we will face a couple of tough games over there. So far it is all looking good for us; the hotel we will be using as our base is brilliant, so we are all looking forward to getting away.

“The League Cup starts early again. It is always good to get right into competitive games and build yourself up for the start of the Premier League campaign.

“Obviously it is going to be a big season for us now that we are back in the Premier League. We know that it is going to be hard as we are the new boys in the league, but I think our squad are more than capable of putting a marker down.

“A lot of us have played at that level already. We have quite a bit of experience in winning league titles and cups and hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the season ahead.”

McManus showed his natural predator instincts by scoring four goals as the Dingwall side cantered to a 11-0 win at Forres Mechanics in Ross Macpherson’s testimonial match on Saturday.

The 24-year-old former Aberdeen striker was pleased to get off the mark in style.

McManus said: “Obviously it was our first game of the pre-season build-up and as a striker you want to get off the mark early and get your confidence up, and it all went well.

“Forres Mechanics did have one or two players missing from their starting line-up but the lads who did play in Ross Macpherson’s testimonial were certainly up for it.

“We had to concentrate on our own performance and in the first game you want to get the ball moving and get into the swing of things, and I think we more than did that against Forres and also showed a good attitude towards the game.”

McManus’ partner up front, Brian Graham, scored a second-half hat-trick of his own, but he was less than happy at the interval.

McManus added: “Big Brian came in at half-time and he was a wee bit angry, I told him he would be fine and that his chance would come, and after he scored from the penalty spot he went on to score twice in 60 seconds just minutes later.

“It is brilliant for us strikers to score goals early on in pre-season; he got three and I scored four, and that’s great for our confidence.”