Experienced Ross County midfielders Iain Vigurs and Michael Gardyne are proving vital in driving the club closer towards Premiership safety.
That’s the view of manager John Hughes, who praised the duo following Saturday’s stirring 2-0 win at Dundee United.
Skipper Vigurs (32) and evergreen creator Gardyne (35) were impressive within a terrific team performance on Tayside with the heat firmly on them for a big result.
A win over Hamilton in Dingwall next Wednesday, allied with Kilmarnock losing against St Mirren, would keep them up.
If the second part of that equation doesn’t happen, County could cross the survival line a week on Sunday with a positive result at Motherwell.
It was an against-the-odds triumph at Tannadice against Dundee United, who were dazzling in their 3-0 Scottish Cup quarter-final win at Aberdeen six days previously.
Delighted Hughes insists Vigurs and Gardyne are really coming to the fore with every minute counting.
He said: “There was no fear in our performance and the word I am using right now is courage. We have to stand up and be courageous.
“We got the team right against Dundee United, making three changes to freshen it up.
“There are times when we are asking guys like Michael Gardyne and Iain Vigurs to keep going right to the very end.
“All credit to these guys, who know what Ross County is all about. They are giving it everything they’ve got.
“Even our substitutes have got a massive part to play. It could be someone feeling a bit left out of it, toys out the pram time or in the huff. We can’t have that.
“You have to be a good team-mate because you might be the guy who taps it in at the back post to keep this team in the Premiership.
“Next season is a whole different one, so let’s stick together.”
Hamilton boss Brian Rice, a close friend of Hughes and his former assistant at Inverness, is also on a high after their surprise 2-1 weekend win at St Mirren.
That result leaves rock-bottom Accies just three points behind County with a better goal difference ahead of next week’s penultimate game of the season.
Hughes stressed: “Nothing is done and dusted and we won’t rest on our laurels.
“We will be playing against a Hamilton team next that will be coming off the back of a good win and know how to stay in this league.
“It’s going to be all-out and I hope we can pick up another win.”
“It won’t be easy. We are under no illusions, but if we can play like we did then it will hopefully be good enough to get us the win.
“We’ve had a few opportunities to get back-to-back wins, but we have not done that since the start of the season. It would be really nice to achieve that now. That would be perfect timing.
“While I was impressed by Dundee United and how they played against Aberdeen last week, I think when we play like that and when we are right up against it as underdogs then we are at our best.”