Steven Ferguson feels experienced midfielder Don Cowie has handed the Staggies a timely boost by returning from a long-term knee injury.
Cowie was restored to the Staggies’ starting line-up for the first time since April in Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Celtic at Parkhead, having undergone surgery on the long standing problem.
The return of Cowie, who will turn 37 next month, gives the Staggies another midfield option at a time when Ross Draper, Tom Grivosti and Joe Chalmers are sidelined through injury, while Ewan Henderson also ended a loan spell to return to Celtic last week.
Ferguson feels veteran midfielder Cowie can play an important role in the weeks to come, and he said: “It would be remiss of me not to mention Don. He was out for nine months, but he came in and managed to get 80 minutes in.
“He has only played 60 minutes of a reserve game up to now, although he has been training exceptionally hard.
“Don brings that experience, composure and energy, he’s a good voice on the pitch.
“We definitely benefitted, as did the players around him. Don certainly earned his money this week.”
Chalmers was the latest player to suffer a setback when he injured his ankle last week, however Ferguson is confident the injury is not as serious as first feared.
He added: “Joe rolled his ankle in training on Thursday. He is out of the boot now, and it’s not as bad as it looks.”
County face their second trip to Glasgow in the space of four days when they take on Rangers at Ibrox tomorrow night, with Ferguson keen to build on a promising display against the Hoops on Saturday.
Ferguson added: “Regarding our performance, and how joined up we looked defensively and offensively, it was certainly an improvement on the last time we were at Parkhead.
“We still feel the goals were avoidable. We felt it was a soft penalty, but we thought we could have done better with the next two.
“Celtic are a really good side – we all know that. We felt we competed well on the day.
“Once the dust settles I think we will take the positives from it, because we did put a heck of a lot into the game and probably did deserve something regarding a goal or a slice of luck.
“We have to dust ourselves down. We have a big week ahead with coming back down to play Rangers on Wednesday and then Kilmarnock on Saturday.
“The fixtures haven’t fallen too great in that respect but equally we know what lies ahead and we will prepare as best we can for these games.”