Alex Iacovitti was thrilled to have helped down Dundee United – but stressed keeping the door shut mattered just as much.
The 23-year-old Ross County defender popped up with the second goal in Saturday’s impressive 2-0 victory at Tannadice, a result which lifted the Staggies out of the Premiership relegation play-off position thanks to Kilmarnock’s 2-0 slip-up at Motherwell.
Jordan White netted the first goal and the result perfectly sets it up for next Wednesday when basement side Hamilton visit Victoria Park – the penultimate match of a rock campaign for the Highlanders.
Annual survival specialists Accies vitally stayed within three points of County at the weekend when they won 2-1 at St Mirren.
Looking back at that vital victory in Tayside for the Staggies in which Iacovitti bagged his fourth of the campaign, he said: “We needed that big time and I am delighted with the clean sheet. We haven’t had one of them in a long time. It was a great shift and we needed that big time.
“We have struggled to keep the ball out of our net for whatever reason. We have been working hard on it in training and I am delighted with the clean sheet.
‘A few mistakes and penalties’
“It is tough not to have kept many clean sheets, but we have to get on with it. For whatever reason, a few mistakes and penalties and certain other things have stopped us getting a few more. We can’t look at the past and we need to keep moving forward.
“It is massive for the confidence, getting the win and for the back four getting the clean sheet.
“If we can keep another clean sheet against Hamilton it will give us a great foundation to build from.”
The former Oldham Athletic player got just enough on the ball for it to cross the line and give County the ideal platform to get the win against Scottish Cup semi-finalists United, who had no answer to County’s first half double-whammy.
When asked about whether he feared the ball had not quite enough on it to count, he stressed: “For me it was over. The keeper has got a hand on it but it was miles over the line.
“I thought for a minute the linesman hadn’t seen it, but I saw it and so did the rest of the lads. I’m buzzing with that one.
“I have been working hard to try and get goals in my game since the start of the season. Jordan did well to get the flick-on and I’ve managed to get in at the back stick to tap it in. I’m really happy.”
County go 10th with two games remaining
While happy to have overtaken Killie in a three-way survival battle, Iacovitti knows there is plenty of work to be done before facing Accies next Wednesday then Motherwell on the final day of the season, which is Sunday, May 16.
He stressed: “It is massive to move up to 10th, but we now need to focus on the next game. We need to work really hard in training and hopefully we can deliver something similar.
“It will be a huge game, but we are ready for it. Saturday was a huge result against Dundee United. We are in this week and we will be working hard.
“We know what Hamilton are all about. It is going to be a fight, but we have to stay humble and to keep working hard.”
Iacovitti, who suffered a bloody nose early on against United, leading to a shirt switch, was quick to heap praise on fellow scorer White, whose overall link-up play was a huge talker at full-time.
He said: “Jordan was magnificent. He is such a big help as he helps our back four get up massively. He brings it down and others play off him.
“It was one of the best performances from him and I was also delighted to see him get his goal as well.
“We worked on it in training, his little flicks. Jordan’s a big lad and he is hard to get round. It is about getting on the second ball.”