Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson knows St Johnstone will be intent on making amends for their shock loss to Montrose in tomorrow’s Betfred Cup tie at McDiarmid Park.
Saints were defeated 1-0 by the League 1 Gable Endies in midweek, meaning Tommy Wright’s men now trail the Staggies by six points having played a game less.
Should Montrose and Forfar Athletic draw today’s match at Links Park, County will have the opportunity to secure their progress to round two with a victory in Perth tomorrow.
Ferguson expects a determined response from Saints in the all-Premiership encounter however, and he said: “Everybody knows how it works – there are no easy games.
“You can go to games where you’re expected to win and the ball doesn’t roll for you on the day. That can happen to anybody.
“I’d imagine the pressure on St Johnstone will come from themselves, rather than from anybody else.
“They’ll want to improve on the result they had during the week and any team would be exactly the same.”
County have netted four goals in each of their first two games against Montrose and Brechin City so far. Having made six changes between the two matches, Ferguson feels he and fellow co-manager Stuart Kettlewell have been left with difficult decisions to make.
Ferguson added: “Stuart and I are really pleased. We set the standard and bar on Saturday against Montrose and when you change the personnel you run the risk of losing that consistency, but thankfully we didn’t. The guys who played on Tuesday hit the same levels we were looking for.
“The players are pretty clear nobody is guaranteed a game.
“On occasion, they have to watch someone else perform in their area of the pitch and, when it is their turn, it has the knock-on effect that they want to be equally as impressive.
“The balance of the squad now means there is competition in every area of the pitch. Everybody has an argument to be in that starting team.
“That’s what we tried to create – and we feel we’ve got it.
“If levels drop and standards aren’t reached, they understand we have somebody ready to come in.
“It’s great and the players accept it. I think they enjoy it.
“There’s an absolute edge to everything and a real togetherness in the group, even though they’re all vying for the starting slot.”