Harry Paton feels Ross County’s youthful midfield is quickly finding its voice in the Premiership.
At 22, Paton was the senior figure in County’s midfield trio which faced Livingston in Friday’s 1-1 draw at Victoria Park, playing alongside 20-year-old Stephen Kelly and Charlie Lakin, who is 21.
After manager Stuart Kettlewell opted to leave skipper Iain Vigurs on the bench, Canadian Paton felt the young midfield held its own against the Lions.
With Kelly on a season-long loan from Rangers, and Lakin on a similar deal from Birmingham City, Paton feels a competitive edge between the trio has helped all three players come of age in the Staggies side.
Paton said: “It was a young midfield in there, so I felt the three of us really had to use our voices without the experience to keep us all going.
“I spoke to the manager on Thursday about being vocal and helping out the boys, I think we all did that – not just me.
“Stephen and Charlie are good ball players, and they always battle as well.
“In training we are always either against each other and pushing each other, or we are on the same team and working well.
“Charlie has come in and done really well, so I have got to keep pushing.
“He got the assist last weekend against Dundee United, so I will have to chip in with a goal or assist in the next games.
“There are 11 spots, with three in midfield we are fighting for, so there is always going to be that competition.
“But we are good pals as well.”
County opened up a small section of Victoria Park for supporters for the second time this season, with a crowd of 300 attending the stalemate against Livi.
Although small in numbers, Paton felt the benefits of having home fans inside the ground, and he is hopeful the restrictions will allow a larger capacity in the coming weeks.
Paton added: “Even when we came out, hearing them give us a clap on the way out lifted the spirits.
“It’s great to see the fans in. When there’s a good play going on, having that support from them really helps.
“It was only 300, but it still makes a big difference. We can still hear them – it’s better than the speakers.
“As long as everything is done to code, and everybody is safe and healthy, it would be great to get more fans in.
“I’m sure we could do it. The cinemas are open, so what’s the difference? We are outside.
“Hopefully this is a good step, and the governing bodies can see it has gone well. I know we have got a good setup here.”
County had led through Oli Shaw’s second goal in as many games, only for Nicky Devlin to level early in the second half.
Although the Staggies are now without a win in their last six league games, former Hearts and Fulham player Paton feels the Dingwall side are edging closer.
He added: “The boys gave it their all. We have been pushing for that win in the last few games, and we have been playing well.
“I thought it was going to be the game, but taking the point is not the worst result. It’s just frustrating.
“We went all guns blazing trying to get the winner.
“I thought we played some really good football at times, we got the ball in the box and created chances.
“Our final finish is just lacking at the moment – but it’s going to come.”