Ross County manager Malky Mackay the best of winger Regan Charles-Cook is still to come.
Charles-Cook has been a standout performer for the Staggies in recent weeks, netting his first league goal for the club in the recent 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie before once again catching the eye in the 3-0 loss to Celtic.
The 24-year-old only returned to the County fold on the eve of the Premiership campaign, after winning his first three international caps for Grenada at the Concacaf Gold Cup during the summer.
Charles-Cook was brought to Dingwall from Gillingham by Stuart Kettlewell last summer but struggled to command a regular place in his debut campaign, making just nine starting appearances.
Mackay feels Charles-Cook’s renewed confidence is plain to see, but he feels the Kent-born player will have more to offer with a sustained run in the side behind him.
Mackay said: “Confidence is the exact word – it’s huge.
“I have been told by some of the staff about times last season when his confidence wasn’t quite what it is just now. Looking at the boy I’m looking at just now, I said to him a couple of days before the weekend that I think there’s another 30% in him.
“When I see what I see in training, there is way more to come from him.
“He’s playing 90 minutes just now and he’s doing fine, which is a huge step up for him. He wasn’t playing 90 minutes last season, he was coming off in a lot of games and performances were up and down.
“I expect an even better end product from him now. Anyone who has texted me after the weekend has mentioned him asking ‘who’s that?’
“He’s a terrific young man, I just want more belief from him because I believe in him. I see it out there, and I’ve told him I’m going to work him even harder.
“What is working at the moment seems to be working for him on the pitch as well. He’s a big part of what we are doing at the moment, and when he’s doing that against Celtic on Saturday there’s no excuse for him.”
Mackay feels the rest of the Staggies team can play their part in providing him with more service, adding: “When we showed him the clips, we saw the role he played against a Croatian international right back, Josip Juranovic, who must have been thinking ‘who is playing against me here?’
“I don’t think we played him the ball enough, because we saw two or three times what he did.
“We spoke about it at the debrief on Tuesday, that we need to recognise that and get the ball to him.”
The Staggies host Hearts on Saturday, as they look to record their first league victory of the season.
Mackay expects defender Alex Iacovitti to return following an illness, however right back Connor Randall remains sidelined with an ankle problem.
Mackay added: “Alex was a very late one.
“He fell ill and just generally didn’t feel right, nothing to do with Covid, it was just a bug. That disrupted us a wee bit obviously.
“Connor ankle is still giving him issues, so Jake Vokins and Connor are the two that are unavailable.
“Other than that we’ve got a full squad, which is interesting now because there are people who I have to drop rather than wondering who can make the bench.”