Last season Regan Charles-Cook was a bit-part player, who was moved around the side to deputise in various positions. He never had a consistent role within the team, and never really looked threatening to opposition sides.
But this season the narrative could not be any more contrasting.
Since returning from international duty with Grenada, Malky Mackay has put faith in Charles-Cook, giving him the opportunity to thrive in the left-wing role. He has grasped that opportunity with both hands and transformed into a dangerous winger.
Charles-Cook is currently Ross County’s top goalscorer, with five to his tally so far. It is fair to say that not many County fans would have expected such a remarkable turnaround in his performances. In fact, it’s probably accurate to say that a lot of the Staggies’ faithful weren’t keen on him at all after last season’s mediocre performances.
Part of what makes Charles-Cook so effective within Malky Mackay’s system is his ability to play comfortably with both feet. Similar to his counterpart Joseph Hungbo, he can go either way, inside or out, creating nightmares for opposition full backs.
A perfect example of this was when he delivered an inch-perfect cross for Dominic Samuel to tap home for County’s first. A quick change of pace to bring the ball inside past Danny Mullen left him with acres of space to swing in the perfect delivery.
Charles-Cook was clearly the standout performer in the roller-coaster 3-2 victory over Dundee, and again showed his importance to the side when he became the hero late on.
This Ross County side never lies down, and the character within the group seems to be growing on a weekly basis.
When Jordan White was hurled to the deck inside the box it would have been easy to down tools and expect a penalty to be handed over, but ‘Cookie’ had other ideas. He tucked away a fine finish with his left peg to give County all three points, sending the Jailend into raptures for the second game in row.