Malky Mackay hailed Ross County’s midweek match-winner Alex Iacovitti – who forged an instant link-up with new signing Jake Vokins.
The big defender powered home a header for the only goal of the game in the Premier Sports Cup tie against Brora Rangers on Wednesday.
It came from one of the many superb crosses put in by Southampton loanee left-back Vokins and finally broke down a well-drilled home defence.
County boss Mackay said: “What happened for the goal is something we spoke about.
“He is an aggressive header of the ball – an aggressive player – and if you have that type of player and good delivery you’re going to cause people problems.
“It was a fantastic delivery from young Jake Vokins.
“On the flip side of that, I wanted to make sure that when we gave up set-pieces we were solid, disciplined and brave.
“We also want to make sure we don’t give away too many set-pieces, because that’s something I’ve looked at here and an area where I feel we can do better.”
Vokins’ crosses caused Brora problems
Vokins, 21, worked well in tandem with Blair Spittal down the left and his set-pieces asked big questions of Brora.
Mackay was delighted with the left-back’s long-awaited debut in the club’s first competitive game due to Covid.
He explained: “He has a lovely left foot and we saw a couple of times with the ball fired to him from 50 yards, it just gets brought down beautifully.
“He’s a young player. He has lots to learn, but he has shown a great willingness.
“He has been schooled very well at Southampton’s academy, obviously.
“We talked in the first half about that little hole where, if we drew the second man out, which we did, that the front post space would be available if he managed to get the delivery in there. And by goodness, he did.”
Mackay acknowledged that Steven Mackay’s Brora needed to be kept at bay in order to avert them from getting an opening in the tie.
He added: “Steven’s team did really well and if we didn’t press the way we did – and that was something I was really pleased about – they could have created problems for us.
Brora Rangers 0-1 Ross County
Alex Iacovitti’s header early in the 2nd half gives County the win! pic.twitter.com/EiWE4xkkvE
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) July 21, 2021
“We didn’t allow them to play their nice passes and made sure we pressed so hard they gave the ball back to us.
“That was the most pleasing aspect of the whole lot.”
Relishing fans returning to Dingwall
County will be looking to build upon their Wednesday win as they host League One Montrose on Saturday.
The Dingwall team’s 3-0 defeats for forfeiting games against Forfar Athletic and Dundee because of Covid put them out of the running for getting out of their group.
However, welcoming fans back to Victoria Park for a game to be played on a lush surface is an occasion the manager is looking forward to.
He said: “We’re lucky enough that we have a training facility at the stadium so, every day – from the day I arrived to today – I walk by the big main pitch and I’ve seen it get greener and greener.
“It looks fantastic. Our groundsman, Davie (Fraser), has been manicuring it and out with his scissors I think.
“It is lovely. The ground is a great setting and it will be great to actually get a home game in front of our fans, which is important as well.”