Graham has nothing to prove on Staggies’ Premiership return

© DC ThomsonBrian Graham.
Brian Graham.

Brian Graham insists he is one of several players with nothing to prove as he prepares to make the step up to the Premiership with Ross County.

Forward Graham helped County clinch promotion back to the top-flight at the first attempt last season, after rejoining the Dingwall club for a second spell from Cheltenham Town 12 months ago.

In three successive years in the Premiership with Dundee United, St Johnstone and County, Graham netted 21 goals in 79 appearances, and also helped the Staggies win the League Cup during his first stint with the club.

Despite being out of Scotland’s top-flight for three years, Graham is confident he can pick up from where he left off during his previous stint with the Staggies.

Graham said: “People maybe looked at myself and a few other older boys and said we were playing in the Championship last year for a reason? The reason was because we wanted to play in the Championship.

“I had offers to play in the Premiership and knocked them back. I felt Ross County at that time was the right place for me to play because I wanted to go and win the Championship and I felt as if I could do it with them.

“I have done that – and I have got nothing to prove in the Premiership. I have scored in the Premiership everywhere I have been, and I have never finished outside the top-six.

“There are a few like that. We all know how to score goals, and we have got players here that will supply the goods.”

Graham feels County’s promotion from the Championship at the first attempt following relegation from the top-tier characterises the spirit within Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson’s side.

He added: “We have just won the Championship. When you look at Dundee United, they have found how difficult it is to do.

“For a club to go down and then come back at the first time of asking is a really good feat. We will take great confidence from it.

“Even bigger clubs struggled to come back up. A small club Ross County from the Highlands did it, so we will take that with great character going forward.

“We’re not really thinking about getting relegated or whatever. I think the character we’ve got is going to be a big help for us going forward.

“Last year we played Hibs in the cup and were very unfortunate to lose with a last minute goal, while we beat Motherwell.

“We have shown we can match the boys in the Premiership – and everybody at this club is relishing it.”

Graham is excited by the Staggies’ top-flight prospects under Kettlewell and Ferguson, adding: “I saw the hunger of the two managers. I had seen them when I was first at the club.

“Sometimes when you were finished and you were watching out the window at lunch, you could see the enthusiasm they both had.

“When they spoke to me on the phone I was sold there and then. I had other offers but I was intrigued to work with both of them to see what it was like first hand.

“The two of them have been excellent, training is first class with real tempo about it, and real hunger and desire.

“Even if it’s a five-a-side tournament the boys want to win it and it sets you in good stead for a Saturday.”