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Malky Mackay striving to establish correct culture at Ross County

Ross County manager Malky Mackay
Ross County manager Malky Mackay

Ross County manager Malky Mackay insists setting the right culture was the basis behind his summer rebuild at Dingwall.

Mackay oversaw big changes at Victoria Park following his appointment, with 16 players leaving and 12 new faces coming in.

The Staggies boss enjoyed success during his playing days, winning a Scottish Premier League title with Celtic before going on to achieve promotions with Norwich City, West Ham and Watford.

As a manager, Mackay also guided Cardiff City into the Premier League in 2013.

Mackay says the foundation of any of his career triumphs has always been built on a strong dressing dressing room.

County remain bottom of the Premiership, but have shown improved form in recent weeks.

Mackay insists setting the right values was his immediate priority after joining the Staggies.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay.

He said: “I was fortunate to be at clubs in my career, where something happened.

“In most of those single years you got a vibe of why it was going well.

“It’s not the way it is every year in dressing rooms. It’s not always that you win something at the end of it, but if there’s a good group together for a period of time something usually happens.

“On the other side of it you can be in dressing rooms where there are splits, cliques and agendas that are allowed to fester. People are allowed to get away with sub-standard behaviour and application – those are the two big things.

“People will be up and down in terms of form, but application and behaviour are two things that should be a given if you are going to play in a top-level team.

“I will not have any lack of that at this football club.

“Hence the decision about the people that were leaving the club. That came into it, let’s be clear about that.

“For the players that we were then trying to bring in, there was a lot of criteria involved in that.

“It’s park your ego at the door, and come in here. Put your shoulder to the wheel and work for each other.

“That’s something I’ve been seeing recently – the help people are giving each other both on the pitch and in the dressing room.

“That makes a big difference, and that’s why I’m starting to see a little fire igniting. They are a group that are not willing to lie down.

“None of them are big time Charlies, because I’m not having that.”

Incoming players must meet Staggies’ standards

Mackay says driving high standards at the club will bring long-term benefits to the Dingwall outfit, in advance of any future recruitment.

He added: “It starts with myself setting out the roles and responsibilities I expect of them, and what they can expect of me.

“I breed that through the staff. I then impart that on to the players, and hope the ones we bring in adhere to that.

“There eventually comes a point where that’s the standard of the group. If you come in, you join that standard.

“If you are out there below that standard, you are out in the wilderness on your own.”

Mackay feels establishing an enjoyable training environment will bring out the best in his players.

Malky Mackay

He added: “They know my expectations and they get to a point where they know what’s right and wrong.

“To be fair, once you get to that point it’s then a good place to come and work.

“It’s OK for me, but for them in that dressing room you want to go to work every day and actually enjoy the environment.

“You don’t want to be going in thinking you won’t enjoy it, because somebody could act up, whether they say something or they take the rip.

“It’s an easy thing to see. I’m watching them every day, I study them and I’ve got the staff doing the same.”

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