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Ross Laidlaw out to retain number one spot after being handed Ross County recall

Ross County goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw.
Ross County goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw.

Ross Laidlaw wants to repay the faith of Ross County’s management staff after earning a first-team recall.

Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell opted to bring in Laidlaw for Nathan Baxter in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with St Johnstone.

Laidlaw had started the season as the number one but after a 3-1 defeat to Aberdeen, was dropped from the side.

It took him 14 games to earn his place back and it is not a position he wants to relinquish any time soon.

Laidlaw said: “It was good to be back. I’ve had to be patient and wait for my chance. I’m grateful to be given the chance to go back in the team and show what I can do. It’s been a while and obviously being on the bench is not great – you’re wondering ‘when will I get a chance again?’ But the managers wanted to use me on Saturday and I thought I put in a decent performance.

“It was frustrating but you know as a goalkeeper there’s going to be spells of the season where you’re not playing. You can’t come on and make an impact like a striker or midfielder. You just have to be patient and wait for your chance.

“I’ve been doing well when I’ve not been in the squad and that’s given them a decision to make. They’ve gone with me for these few games and hopefully I can keep my place in the squad.”

Laidlaw started the season as first-choice goalkeeper.

After a shoulder injury to Baxter early in the season, County had a third goalkeeper on the books with ex-Wolves youngster Jack Ruddy, whose short-term deal expired last month.

There is a comraderie between the two remaining stoppers, added the former Hibernian man, as both vie for the starting berth.

Laidlaw added: “The managers have said it’s good to have me and Nathan (Baxter) competing, rather than being a stick-on number one and number two. Goalkeepers have got that mutual respect for each other – they know how difficult the position is and whoever’s got the nod, the other goalkeeper will try help them play the best they can.

“That’s the way it’s worked. There’s no bad blood between me and Nathan; it’s just who the manager’s picked. The other one just has to get on with it and that’s what I’ve been doing when I’ve not been playing.”

With County having the worst defensive record in the league, with 54 goals conceded, Laidlaw admits it is down to the whole team to do their part and rectify the problem.

He said: “I don’t think it’s just the defence and goalkeepers – it’s easy to point fingers at them but it’s the whole team. It doesn’t matter how many goals we concede, as long as we stay in this league. That’s the most important thing.”

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