Ross Stewart treats speculation over his future as the ultimate compliment he is delivering the goods for Ross County.
Stewart secured a clean sweep of the Staggies’ end of season accolades, winning the supporters’ player, young player and players’ player of the year awards.
It follows a successful step up to the top flight following County’s Championship title win last year, which saw Stewart net 11 goals in the first half of the season prior to a hamstring injury he suffered in the final game of 2019 away to St Johnstone.
Stewart’s form has seen the 23-year-old linked with a host of clubs, with Premiership rivals Aberdeen and Hibernian, along with English Championship sides Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers credited with an interest.
With County having returned to socially distanced training this week, Stewart insists his sole focus has been on the Staggies’ return from the coronavirus shutdown.
Stewart said: “The rumours are always nice when you see clubs you’re getting linked with, but until there’s something concrete there I don’t really pay too much attention.
“I’m just focused on Ross County. Other than Celtic, we’re the only team back in training it’s a really good place to be.
“I’ve always said I love it up here and whatever happens, happens.
“But I’m solely focused on Ross County and hopefully having another successful season like the last one.”
The suspension of the Scottish football season came at a particularly frustrating time for Stewart, who had played just twice after recovering from his two-month injury lay-off.
Stewart is intent on replicating his form in the opening half of last term, which the former St Mirren and Albion Rovers player regards as the strongest spell of his career.
Stewart added: “The first six months of the season were probably the best six months I’ve had in football.
“In terms of the numbers I was putting up, and the league I was in, I was really enjoying my football and loving the challenge of playing in the Premiership for the first time.
“The injury at the time was a setback for me, but it was one of these things you can’t control.
“It’s just unfortunate that when I was getting back playing, the coronavirus halted the season.
“I was looking to try and rediscover a lot of the form I had shown in the first six months.”
County’s return to training has coincided with the beginning of a new regime, with Stuart Kettlewell now in sole charge of the Dingwall club after previous co-manager Steven Ferguson became chief executive.
Stewart has relished the return to some form of familiarity, adding: “It was the first day back on Thursday and it was great to get in and see a lot of familiar faces.
“Being back is very strange, with no contact and our own isolated area on the training pitch.
“You just make what you can out of it. You’d much rather be doing that than being at home.
“It’s just really good to get back to see the coaching staff and the manager.
“There is obviously a new structure at the club in how they’re going to move forward.
“Everyone is on board with that and as players we’re just looking forward to hopefully getting the games back started as soon as they can.”