Goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw has called for a united Ross County effort in a bid to beat Dundee United and bolster their Premiership survival bid this afternoon.
The Staggies number one will be the last line of defence as the Dingwall team face a fired-up Terrors team, who are one week away from a Scottish Cup semi-final against Hibs.
Laidlaw has pulled off big saves throughout the season, but 64 goals leaked is the worst in the division as County sit only three points richer than rock-bottom Hamilton and two behind Kilmarnock.
The cheap goals have been pinpointed this week by manager John Hughes and the 28-year-old is determined to take his clean sheet count to six for the term, but says it’s everyone’s job to limited opponents’ chances.
He said: “You can sacrifice clean sheets if the team is winning or higher up the table.
If that’s the case and you concede the odd goal then you’re not too bothered, but when you are down near the bottom and you are not getting results and not being as tight a backline as you want then want clean sheets.
“It’s easy to blame goalkeepers and the defence, but it’s down to the whole team and the way we have been playing.
“The manager has touched on it. We need to press from the front and we need to all get behind the ball and protect the back four. A lot of the time the back four has been exposed to counter-attacks and the like.
“It’s not been easy, not getting as many clean sheets as we want. The manager has always wanted to keep clean sheets and hopefully on Saturday we can be a tighter unit and be compact.
“The worst case scenario is that you’re going to get a draw if you keep a clean sheet, whereas we have conceded sloppy goals. If we keep a clean sheet great, but at this stage of the season it’s more about getting the points on the board.”
Today’s hosts have won all three fixtures against County this term, but former Hibs shot-stopper Laidlaw is ready for the challenge.
He admitted: “We have really struggled against Dundee United this season. They sit behind the ball and when they counter attack they are really quick. They were like that against us earlier in the season and we have lost three times to them now.
“We know how good a side they in with players such as Lawrence Shankland and Marc McNulty up front. They also have a good base behind that, with Benji (Siegrist) in goals. They have had a really good season and we know how good they are, but we need to go and win and that’s the most important thing.”
Laidlaw insists the spirit is high in the ranks at Dingwall, as good as he’s experienced in his career.
“We have a good group of players. It’s one of the best dressing rooms I have been in,” he said.
“We have a close group and players have moved away from their families to be here. We all get on really well and everyone is sticking together. We all have the same goal and that is to keep Ross County in the Premiership.”