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Malky Mackay urges Ross County to be calculated in attacking Rangers

Malky Mackay.
Malky Mackay.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay says his players’ temptation to attack Rangers must be carefully considered in Sunday’s Ibrox encounter.

The Gers, who go into the match four points clear at the top of the Premiership, are looking to back up a crucial 1-1 draw away to Brondby in the Europa League on Thursday.

Steven Gerrard’s men will be expected to play on the front foot, having enjoyed 67% possession when they defeated County 4-2 at Victoria Park in August.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay at full time after the defeat by Rangers in August.

That will not stunt Mackay’s desire to cause Rangers problems, but the Staggies boss insists his side must pick their moments.

Mackay said: “I think there’s a balance to it. Rangers become the next game we play in terms of the gameplan we have and tactics we will apply purely dependant on that team.

“There’s a natural willingness for a few of them to want to play in a certain way. We’ve got to make sure we temper that by thinking about when we do that.

“Most clubs will go into any game thinking ‘how can we hurt the opposition, but how can the opposition hurt us?’

“That’s where the balance comes from. We will talk about where and when we can give the opposition issues and negate what they do to us.

“We’ve got to be very careful, but at the same time we went down to Parkhead and gave a really good account of ourselves.

“On the day we were a tad unfortunate there, but I know the challenge ahead of me.”

Staggies showed their threat in August

Despite County’s defeat in Dingwall earlier in the campaign, Mackay took plenty encouragement from his side’s display in a game which was in the balance until Scott Arfield’s late fourth.

He added: “After a whirlwind start from Rangers, I thought we played our way into the game well. Anybody watching it on the day would say it was nip on tuck as to whether we were going to nick the draw.

“We lost one with a couple of minutes to go, but I think we acquitted ourselves really well.

“Going to Ibrox there will be a big crowd, a good pitch and a top team.

“It’s what I love being involved in, and what players should love being involved in.”

Mackay does not expect Rangers to suffer any adverse effect from their European exploits in midweek, adding: “Rangers have got a huge squad, and they are used to doing this. I don’t think it’s going to make any difference.

“They know exactly how to do what they do, and they’ve got good people who work there.”

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