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Ross County offer deal to former Dundee United midfielder Sam Stanton

Sam Stanton.
Sam Stanton.

Ross County could add Sam Stanton to their squad ahead of tomorrow’s game against Aberdeen after offering the former Dundee United midfielder a contract.

Stanton has been on trial at Victoria Park this week after leaving American side Phoenix Rising.

Staggies boss John Hughes, who previously worked with Stanton during his spell in charge at Hibernian, has been impressed by the 26-year-old’s impact and could conclude a deal in time for tomorrow’s visit of the Reds to Dingwall.

Hughes is hopeful he can get the best out of Dons target Ross Stewart between now and the end of the season.

Stewart is County’s leading scorer with six goals in all competitions this season, but has recently been sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Having returned to training in recent days, Stewart is in contention to return to the fold for tomorrow’s Premiership match against Aberdeen.

Ross Stewart was injured against Celtic on December 23.

The 24-year-old’s performances since County were promoted to the top-flight in 2019 have attracted widespread interest, with the Dons among a number of sides in pursuit.

With Stewart into the final six months of his contract, the former St Mirren player appears likely to depart before the end of next season.

Hughes insists he is under no pressure to cash in on Stewart during the transfer window, and he hopes the forward can make a valuable contribution to County’s efforts to secure Premiership survival.

Hughes said: “I have spoken to Ross and told him he needs to keep his focus.

“It’s his agent’s job, his job is to get fit and keep his focus on Ross County.

“I am not aware of any bids for him, but you know the way the window works in the crazy world of football.

“I expect there will be bids once he’s back playing and I hope that will be Saturday because he’s been training.

“He will hopefully play a part this weekend.

“The chairman has told me I don’t have to sell, it’s my decision and we will do what’s best for Ross County.

“If you see Ross here until the end of the season helping to keep us up in the Premiership, then that’s the decision we’ve made.

“He is a very good professional and a really good lad.

“It’s no surprise that there is vast interest in him, if he does leave Ross County in the window or the end of the season he will enhance whoever gets him.

“He’s still at an age where he has plenty left to come, so he’ll be an asset.”

Hughes is wary of the challenge posed by tomorrow’s opponents Aberdeen, whose trip to Livingston on Wednesday was called off 10 minutes after the game was due to start because of a waterlogged pitch.

Aberdeen’s match against Livingston was postponed.

The Staggies boss is an admirer of the job done by his Dons counterpart Derek McInnes, whose side are third in the table.

Hughes added: “Every game from now is a cup final, it is that old cliche.

“We still have to go out and express ourselves – we need to have the freedom to go and play.

“We know what we are up against. Derek has done a marvellous job up there.

“He has a really good Aberdeen team. I was going to get a chance to get a right good look at them myself on Wednesday at Livingston, but the game was called off.

“They are where they are for a reason and they will want to bounce back after their defeat on Sunday.

“We know what we are up against – an Aberdeen team who want to finish as high up the table as they can.”

Hughes also hopes to have defenders Callum Morris and Carl Tremarco back in contention following hamstring injuries, however new signing Mohamed Maouche is expected to miss out after being given a leave of absence due to his mother being unwell.

Hughes added: “I’ve said from the minute I’ve come into the club, we need to get our injured players on the training pitch, with numbers to pick from.

“There were no knocks at the weekend, so maybe things are starting to turn in our favour.

“I want that headache – that’s what football is all about. I want to pick the best team I feel can go and win the game. There is nothing personal, as long as you think your decisions are the right ones for the team.”

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