Ross County defender Alex Iacovitti hopes to use their Betfred League Cup double-header to boost confidence ahead of the return to Premiership action.
The Staggies are without a victory in their last six league games, but returned to winning ways in Tuesday’s 4-1 victory over Elgin City at Borough Briggs.
Stuart Kettlewell’s men will secure top spot in their League Cup section if they record a victory at home to Stirling Albion on Saturday, which would put them in the hat for Sunday’s second- round draw.
Iacovitti is hopeful the Dingwall men can strike a winning formula to take them into their next Premiership game away to Kilmarnock the following weekend.
Iacovitti said: “We have been close to getting results. We have had one-goal defeats and draws, but we feel like we can use the cup to get us going a little bit and get the momentum high.
“I think the result was coming. The lads have worked hard in most games. Sometimes it has just come from individual mistakes. I hold my hands up, I had a few.
“We need to cut them out and use these cup games as a stepping-stone to take it into the league.
“For the likes of myself and Oli Shaw, who keeps on scoring, it gives the lads confidence going back into the Premiership. These games are all about that, but progressing in the cup is something we are looking at as well.”
Despite a sluggish start against Elgin, County went on to triumph comfortably following a strong second half performance against the Moray outfit.
The Staggies will once again be strong favourites when they come up against another League 2 side in the form of Kevin Rutkiewicz’s Stirling this weekend.
Having relinquished a three-goal lead to draw with Montrose earlier in the group stage, Iacovitti insists there is no room for complacency against lower league opposition.
The 23-year-old added: “The manager’s message was to get the six points from these two games and do it professionally.
“He told us not to underestimate teams in lower leagues. We need to treat them like any normal Premiership game.
“In the first 10 or 15 minutes we started a bit sloppy, but when we got to grips with the pitch and conditions, and we got playing, it was a really good professional performance from us.
“It was a different challenge, but fair play to them. They had been at work all day – I respect them.”
Iacovitti, who joined from Oldham Athletic in the summer, scored his first goal for the Staggies when he netted their second on the stroke of half-time.
The former Scotland under-21 international says he has quickly settled at Victoria Park and feels comfortable playing alongside any of the fellow defenders at Kettlewell’s disposal.
Iacovitti added: “I’m glad to get my first goal to open my account at Ross County. It has been a long time coming. I have been getting close, but I’m glad I scored to help the team get the three points.
“It’s tough in Scotland, it’s a good battle obviously, but I’m really enjoying it.
“We have struggled with a few injuries. Carl Tremarco has done his hamstring, so we have to see how bad that one is.
“I know the lads inside out. Whoever slots in next to me, I know they are going to give 100%.”