Oli Shaw is ready to stake his claim for a starting place following a disrupted start to his Ross County career.
Forward Shaw joined the Staggies from Hibernian in January, but made only seven appearances before the season was cut short due to coronavirus.
With Billy Mckay missing last weekend’s trip to St Johnstone due to a calf injury and Lee Erwin recently leaving for St Mirren, Shaw was handed just his third start for the Staggies and helped them win 1-0 in Perth.
Shaw is hoping to retain his place for tomorrow’s home game against Aberdeen as he targets a settled run in Stuart Kettlewell’s side.
Shaw said: “It has been stop-start for me since coming here.
“I signed in January and got a few games, but then the pandemic hit and we had the shutdown.
“I was just getting settled here, but I then headed back down the road to be with my family when it was clear the season was finishing.
“That was difficult because I’d just got used to being up here, I’d just got my flat and moved in and everything stalled.
“But I feel settled here now, things are good.
“It felt like a long pre-season and once the games started again the team were doing well, so I’ve had to bide my time.
“I have had to be patient and wait for my chance to come. I have enjoyed getting into the team and now it’s up to me to stay there.”
Shaw has yet to get off the mark for the Staggies, with the 22-year-old determined not to let the wait play on his mind.
Shaw could face added competition from Irish striker Michael O’Connor who is on the verge of joining from Waterford United, and he added: “I need to start scoring goals, as a striker you want to get off the mark as quickly as you can.
“But if I am helping the team and picking up points, then that’s the main thing.
“As a striker, though, you have to get goals and that’s what I have to add to take the pressure off.
“When it doesn’t happen it can play on your mind, but you have to just focus on doing your bit for the team to get results.
“All you can do is train well, catch the manager’s eye and when you get games do enough to stay there.
“I have come off the bench a lot during my career and have always had that positive mindset of coming on to change a game.
“It obviously disappoints you when you don’t start, but you get over it quickly and when that chance comes to come on and help the team you have to be ready for it.”
The Dons landed back in Scotland in the early hours of yesterday morning following their Europa League loss to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal.
Shaw does not expect Derek McInnes’ men to be adversely affected by their travelling commitments ahead of the trip to Dingwall, adding: “Aberdeen are a good side, they picked up some very good results and it was a big surprise they lost 3-0 to Motherwell last weekend.
“We’ll expect a reaction from them because they’ll want to bounce back straight away.
“Hopefully we can produce a good performance against them.
“They had their European game and they would have relished that because you want to play at that level.
“I don’t think it will affect them too much, they’ll be enjoying playing games.”