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Erwin determined to kick on with Staggies following unhappy Iran spell

21/07/18 BETFRED CUP
Lee Erwin in action for Kilmarnock
21/07/18 BETFRED CUP DUMBARTON V KILMARNOCK C&G SYSTEM STADIUM Lee Erwin in action for Kilmarnock

Lee Erwin is eager to feel wanted again at Ross County after ending an unhappy spell in Iran.

Forward Erwin yesterday completed his return to Scotland by signing a two-year deal with the Staggies, after ending a year-long stint with Persian Gulf Pro League outfit Tractor.

After former Wales manager John Toshack lured him to the middle east from Kilmarnock last August, Erwin made just six appearances, netting four goals.

In his final appearance against Zob Ahan in November, Erwin created Iranian top-flight history by scoring a hat-trick in just seven minutes in a 4-1 victory.

That remains Erwin’s last outing however, with the 24-year-old not subsequently featuring for Tractor after failing to settle.

Bellshill-born Erwin, who had previous stints with Motherwell and Killie, was keen to return to Scottish football.
He said: “I haven’t played since November – eight months.

“It just didn’t work out in Iran, for numerous reasons. That’s in the past now. I just need to move on.

“There’s no point dwelling on what happened.

“I wasn’t actually out of contract until mid-June. Until then, I wasn’t even able to negotiate or speak to anyone else.

“It was a difficult decision to come home. The first experience of playing abroad wasn’t obviously good.

“After so long without football, I was just eager to get back playing. I know the Scottish leagues well so just wanted to be back, settled, with family close by.

“Above all, it is good to be wanted.

“Some clubs are different and managers don’t have a say in who they bring in. At this club, it was obviously the managers who wanted me. That’s a big positive for me.”

Erwin could make his debut in County’s Betfred Cup tie against Forfar Athletic, with a draw against the League 1 outfit enough to secure the Staggies’ place in the last-16 of the competition.

Erwin accepts he is short of fitness following his frustrating spell on the sidelines, but he is confident he will quickly get back up to speed.

He added: “I need to get the short, sharp stuff. I’ve done a lot of one-on-one sessions down in Glasgow.

“But it doesn’t matter how much of that you do, when it comes to Saturday you need minutes.

“The sooner I get playing, the better. I’ll work hard at it.

“You take a different look at the game, especially when you’ve missed being involved day-to-day for so long.

“There are small things you appreciate, even just the changing room and the banter.

“Now I can just focus on playing, working hard, training, whereas before I maybe didn’t appreciate it as much.”

Erwin’s early breakthrough at Motherwell earned him a move to Leeds United in 2015, where he spent loan spells with Bury and Oldham Athletic.

Erwin’s move to Dingwall will reunite him with Staggies attacker Billy Mckay who he played with at Oldham, and he added: “It’s a great team and they won the Championship last year.

“They’ve strengthened the squad and it is looking like being an exciting season.

“I played with Billy Mckay at Oldham and, funnily enough, I saw on holiday last month. We were talking and, at that point, I was looking to stay abroad.

“I spoke to him last week and said I was coming up.”

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