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Malky Mackay says Jake Vokins will be like a new signing for Ross County

Jake Vokins.
Jake Vokins.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay says Jake Vokins will have the effect of a new signing when he returns to contention in the coming weeks.

Left back Vokins arrived at Victoria Park on loan from Southampton in the summer, and played in both of County’s Premier Sports Cup ties before suffering a broken metatarsal on the eve of the Premiership campaign.

Having returned to Saints to undergo rehabilitation Vokins is now back in Dingwall, with Mackay looking to introduce him into contact training next week as he steps up his recovery from a near three-month lay-off.

Mackay said: “He’s a couple of weeks away from being fully involved in the group.

“He’s been scanned to check that what was going on inside has knitted properly.

“Southampton okayed him coming back here and he’s started partial training this week. He’ll dip into the warm-ups with fitness work topping that up on his own.

“Then, next week, he’ll come into contact work.

“It was such a disappointment because he came in and started really well in the first few weeks.

Jake Vokins in action for Ross County against Montrose.

“It was the most freak thing you’ll ever see in your life what actually happened

“He was asked to pass a ball back to people 10 or 15 yards away and he caught his stud on the ground.

“To be out so long with that is tough, so it is good to have him back. He’s like a new signing.”

Mackay says 21-year-old Vokins will not be instantly guaranteed a place in his side, with fellow summer additions Jack Burroughs and Ben Paton having slotted in at full back during his absence.

He added: “He’s young, finding his way and isn’t ready-made in terms of being a Premier League footballer. But he is a young reserve player with Southampton who wants to make a career.

“He’s a great lad and has a lovely left foot, but there’s competition for places now.

“Young Ben Paton has stepped into the club and over-achieved massively in terms of what expectations were in big games.

“We also have our Scotland under-21 international Jack Burroughs who can literally play anywhere on the pitch. If I threw goalkeeping gloves at him, I think he’d play there.

Jack Burroughs.

“He looks as much at ease at left-back as right-back, and he will also play in midfield for us.

“The other night for Scotland under-21s he started at right wing and ended up at left back against Denmark. That’s a measure of what Scot Gemmill thinks about him.”

Randall also nearing return

Mackay says right back Connor Randall is also nearing a comeback, having been sidelined with an ankle injury he suffered in the 1-1 draw with Aberdeen on August 29.

Mackay added: “I was really disappointed for Connor as he was terrific at Aberdeen, but went down with his ankle with 10 minutes to go.

Connor Randall was forced off with an injury at Pittodrie.

“That’s been a sore one for him, missing four or five weeks.

“He was coming into a run of feeling as fit as he has been since coming to the club, with the work he has been doing in the gym and with the sports scientist, and with the way we’re training.

“He’s quite clearly an experienced footballer, but it has been quite stop-start for him here.

“A bit like Jake, he is in the warm-ups and just about ready to come back into the physical contact side.”

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