Ross County manager Malky Mackay praised two debutants after they were pitched into action against champions Rangers on Sunday.
On-loan Arsenal centre back Harry Clarke, 20, and midfielder Ben Paton, 21, most recently with Blackburn Rovers, were handed starts in defence against a free-flowing Ibrox outfit.
It was a baptism of fire as Rangers threatened to run riot, scoring twice within the first 20 minutes.
However, Clarke led the fightback by scoring before the break and in the end the Staggies gave their visitors a run for their money in a 4-2 defeat.
Mackay acknowledged afterwards the team had been up against it, but thought Clarke and Paton – who was asked to fill in at the back – emerged with credit.
He said: “I was really delighted for Ben Paton on Sunday. He went in at left-back and was very comfortable considering who he was playing against.
“Ben has only been at the club for a few weeks, but he’s very comfortable on the ball and I think he has got a big future for us over a period of time. He will grow into the team, maybe into a different position.
“I also thought Harry Clarke was exceptional. I was delighted to get him. We’d been tracking him and I was delighted to get him.
“He came on at half-time against Hibs and was excellent. I thought he was immense again playing against top centre-forwards. He looked as if he cruised the game.”
Spittal shines as Staggies skipper
Skipper Keith Watson was on the bench at the weekend, so the armband was handed to wide midfielder Blair Spittal, who has impressed Mackay since he took over from John Hughes at the end of May.
He added: “Blair is one who has been here since I came in. He’s a talented footballer to start with, but he has also applied himself so well since I arrived.
“He works hard every day in training and is a big character as well, so I was happy to give him the armband and he was happy to take it.”