Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson feels the Staggies’ Premiership task will be made tougher by a revival he expects from both Hearts and Hibernian in the coming weeks.
County are sixth in their first season since returning to the top-flight, occupying a position above both Edinburgh clubs who sacked their managers last month.
With Jack Ross having already replaced Paul Heckingbottom at Hibs, and Hearts still searching for a successor to Craig Levein, Edinburgh-born Ferguson expects both capital clubs will move closer to fulfilling their potential as they benefit from the new manager bounce.
Ferguson said: “I think there will be a reaction – 100% I do.
“I think you will see a big bounce from the likes of Hearts and Hibs.
“They will probably, more than likely start to move up the league and start to be the big clubs they are, and competing at the top end of the league rather than the bottom end.
“It’s funny how it works, because it’s the same group of players and the same club, but I would suggest there would be some sort of bounce.
“We probably saw that already with the results both Hearts and Hibs picked up in the games before the international break.
“I would imagine they will be feeling buoyant, and ready to start picking up points, which makes them a real threat to everybody else.”
County make the trip to bottom of the table St Mirren today, with six points and six positions separating the sides.
Ferguson is targeting a second victory over the Buddies this season to move further away from a congested lower half of the table, and he added: “It’s the really early stages of the season, and it’s not going to decide anything.
“We will be looking to make that gap between ourselves and St Mirren bigger, while they will be looking to close that gap.
“We are talking about Ross County and St Mirren, but that goes with any of the clubs in the bottom six. One win can change the whole outlook, it can propel you up the league and give you distance between other clubs.
“That can turn very quickly on its head if you don’t pick up three points, and somebody else does.
“It’s very much that cut throat environment in that bottom six area.
“We want to make sure we stay where we are and keep out of that fight. The only way we do that is by winning games and picking up points.”
County are without injured midfield trio Iain Vigurs, Don Cowie and Tom Grivosti.