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Malky Mackay calls for Ross County to show calm approach against Livingston

Ross County manager Malky Mackay is ready for Motherwell on Tuesday.
Ross County manager Malky Mackay is ready for Motherwell on Tuesday.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay has urged his players to remain level-headed when they travel to Livingston on Saturday.

Mackay spoke of his pride at his side’s efforts in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Celtic at Victoria Park, in which the Hoops netted a 97th minute winner.

County had enjoyed a fine sequence of form, having won three of their previous six games.

That run has allowed the Staggies to overhaul a four-point gap at the foot of the table, with the Dingwall men now ahead of St Johnstone on goal difference.

Mackay says his players must take the late setback in their stride when they visit Almondvale.

He said: “For our players to test themselves to that point and then have that little heartbreak at the end, I’ve got to try to redress the balance.

“I ask them to take that, the good from it, but then I don’t want to see any faces down. That’s football.

“They need to have that emotional perspective, of not going too high or too low. Nice and calm – and ready for the next game.

“I’ve been in football plenty of times and there have been plenty of lows. It is crucial to keep a perspective on things.

“That’s why, when doing well in football terms, don’t ever go too high. You’re never that good and never that bad. Keep doing your best.

“They’ve done that and I’m really proud of them for Wednesday night. I’m proud of where they’ve come from in terms of the start of the season until now.”

Staggies have come on leaps and bounds since stuttering start

Mackay, whose side failed to win any of their opening 10 matches this term, has been thrilled with the development of his side in recent weeks.

He added: “There’s a million miles difference because of their hard work, endeavour and their thought and understanding of the gameplan I want then to work to. The ethic and culture they’ve bred. They’re really pulling together.

“There are no egos and no cliques.

“That then means they are a group that can go and play against anybody in this league. I firmly believe that and we showed it against Celtic.

“We really pressed them high and went at them in the second half. They were doing it against the very best and now they’ve got to do it against everyone in the league, every week.”

The Staggies have a concern over midfielder Harry Paton, who was substituted during the first half against Celtic.

Harry Paton is substituted against Celtic.

Mackay says keeping his squad fresh is vital in the coming weeks, adding: “Harry Paton came off with a knock on his calf. It was a knock rather than a pull though, so we’ll assess him.

“After such an encounter over 97 minutes, the players have come through it well.

“We just need to make sure that our big thing is our recovery process just now – making sure that they’re getting their food, fluids and sleep to be ready to go again.”

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