Malky Mackay has not wasted any time in stamping his identity on Ross County’s side.
Following his arrival at Victoria Park in the summer, Mackay made way for an extensive rebuild by allowing 16 players to depart.
By the end of the summer transfer window, 12 new faces had been added, signalling a seismic change in the Staggies’ direction.
A number of the arrivals have become integral part of County’s side, while Mackay has also succeeded in getting a tune out of some of those he inherited.
Other new signings have struggled to make an impact thus far, and will feel they have a point to prove in the second half of the season.
This is how the Staggies’ new dozen have fared so far, and where there could still be room for fresh reinforcements this month.
League minutes played: 1,406
The midfielder has been a regular fixture in Malky Mackay’s side since his move from Hamilton Accies, often occupying the role closest behind the forward line.
Callachan has brought a strong work-rate and steely edge to County’s midfield.
Having netted 10 goals for Accies last term, Callachan initially took time to get off the mark for his new club, but has netted three goals in his last nine games.
League minutes played: 540
The former Gillingham forward initially struggled to force his way into Mackay’s side. After being given the nod for the opening match of the season against St Johnstone, Samuel had to wait another four months before his next starting opportunity.
The Englishman has enjoyed more regular game time throughout December’s fixtures, however, and netted his first goal for the club in the 3-2 victory over Dundee.
Having featured either by himself or alongside Jordan White, Samuel will aim to build on his recent displays after the turn of the year.
League minutes played: 518
The on-loan Southampton left-back encountered the cruellest of luck when he suffered a fractured metatarsal on the eve of the Premiership campaign. That kept Vokins out of action for four months, meaning he has had to start afresh.
Prior to the injury, Vokins had shown up well in his opening two outings in the Premier Sports Cup.
The former England under-19 international has shown a willingness to use the full length of the left flank, looking to provide ammunition for the Staggies’ forward players.
Having made his way back into the side prior to Christmas, Vokins will be keen to finish his loan spell with a flourish before returning to Saints in the summer.
League minutes played: 74
After joining County with an impressive youth pedigree, Manchester City loanee Robertson has been tasked with finding his feet in a senior environment.
At just 18, he clearly has plenty time still on his hands, however, opportunities have been limited for Robertson to stamp his influence on the Staggies side.
His only start came in the Premier Sports Cup against Montrose before he was substituted at half-time, with four further outings from the bench.
League minutes played: 665
Austrian midfielder Cancola is another player who has had to show patience after making the switch to Scottish football.
He arrived from Slovan Liberec in the summer short of recent match action, having only played five times for the Czech outfit last term.
Cancola has been intermittently called upon by Mackay as a robust midfield option, but has found a more regular slot in the starting 11 in the run up to Christmas.
He showed a glimpse of his attacking threat with an outstanding first goal for the club in the 1-1 draw at Livingston.
League minutes played: 1,419
The on-loan Arsenal defender has arguably been County’s biggest success story of the season so far.
At the age of 20, Clarke initially showed impressive composure and assurance when he slotted in at his natural central defensive position after making the temporary switch.
An injury to Connor Randall saw him relocated to right-back, and he immediately caught the eye with his unrelenting energy and willingness to burst forward. That has made Clarke a key full-back asset, and he has contributed to the attack with three goals and two assists.
The Staggies should enjoy Clarke while they have him, as he looks to have a very promising future in the game.
League minutes played: 1,260
Australian goalkeeper Maynard-Brewer arrived on loan from Charlton Athletic in the summer, originally looking to provide competition for Ross Laidlaw. Since being handed his chance against Hearts in September, he has held on to the gloves, although it is fair to say there have been ups and downs for the 22-year-old.
He put in an excellent display against the Jambos on his debut, which helped to secure a 2-2 draw at Victoria Park, but he was subsequently at fault for Dundee United’s winning goal in a 1-0 defeat at Tannadice.
Maynard-Brewer has clearly earned Mackay’s faith, however, and spoke recently of how the exposure to first-team football has helped him to grow.
League minutes played: 581
The versatility of Coventry City loanee Burroughs has been proven useful to Mackay on several occasions.
The Scotland under-21 international is comfortable as a box-to-box midfielder, where he has occasionally featured for the Staggies.
He can also play in both full-back roles, with his services often called upon at left-back during the injury absence of Jake Vokins.
With only six starts so far, however, Burroughs has not managed to nail down any of the positions he has occupied, and he will be looking to make a greater impact in the second half of the campaign.
League minutes played: 498
Another versatile operator, Paton and Burroughs alternated in filling the left-back position during Vokins’ injury absence.
It is not the Canadian’s natural position, but he quickly earned plaudits from Mackay for the way in which he stood up to the challenge.
Paton has had to be patient in waiting for a chance in his most comfortable midfield position, where he has rarely featured.
As the youngest of Mackay’s six permanent signings, he is a player the Staggies boss will hope to develop in the months to come.
League minutes played: 946
Winger Hungbo has been another undoubted success story in the Staggies’ season.
He initially found game-time limited, but since breaking into the side in September, the on-loan Watford player has not looked back.
Hungbo’s energy and dynamism in the forward areas makes him an entertaining player to watch, and he has produced two goals so far.
His spectacular free-kick in the 5-0 rout of Dundee is a moment the Staggies fans are unlikely to forget for quite some time.
League minutes played: 1,454
Defender Baldwin arrived at Dingwall with a rich pedigree in the English lower leagues, where he featured for Peterborough, Sunderland and most recently Bristol Rovers. His experience is clearly valued highly by Mackay, who has handed him the captaincy when Keith Watson has not featured.
Baldwin quickly showed assuredness in the backline, but was guilty of high-profile errors in successive games against Dundee United and St Mirren.
These have proven to be isolated occurrences, however, with Baldwin increasingly becoming a pillar of County’s rearguard.
League minutes played: 182
The final piece of Mackay’s summer transfer business, there is no disguising the fact it has been a frustrating spell for deadline day signing Samuel. The Welshman, who joined from Wycombe Wanderers, has made only four appearances thus far.
All but one has come from the start and, although he clearly has industrious traits, he has struggled to make an impact in the final third.
Having struggled to even make the bench in recent weeks, Samuel clearly has work to do to prove his worth to the Staggies.
What could follow in January?
Mackay has regularly spoken of his contentment at the chemistry that has been generated in his squad, insisting: “None of them are big time Charlies, because I’m not having that.”
That is likely to make Mackay extra vigilant in ensuring any new additions are of a similar character.
The Staggies’ squad appears to be well-balanced, with decent strength in depth.
Mackay’s much-changed squad has increasingly responded to the way he looks to play, with a noticeable emphasis on pace and high work-rate further up the field.
Although County are 10th in the Premiership at present, their attacking statistics make for impressive reading. The Dingwall outfit are the fourth highest scorers in the division, racking up 27 goals.
Of that tally, County’s three natural forwards have only contributed four goals between them, with Jordan White on target three times and Dominic Samuel netting once.
White himself made a strong impact when he arrived from Motherwell last January, and Mackay could look to add further competition at the top end of the park.
The absence of Jake Vokins earlier in the campaign left the Staggies short of natural left-back cover, with Connor Randall, Ben Paton and Jack Burroughs taking turns to fill the void.
The Staggies have adaptable options across the backline, but Mackay could look to strengthen his rearguard, particularly given the growing risk of Covid disruption among his squad.
Another option available to Mackay could be to recall defender Tom Grivosti, who has spent the opening half of the campaign on loan with League Two side Elgin City.
Englishman Grivosti has enjoyed a sustained run of games following his return from long-term injury, but he will be eager to rekindle the promise he showed in the early stages of his Dingwall career.