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Southampton defender Kayne Ramsay cool about handling Scottish Premiership heat at Ross County

Ross County loan signing, Kayne Ramsay, settles in at Ross County.
Ross County loan signing, Kayne Ramsay, settles in at Ross County.

Forward-thinking defender Kayne Ramsay is confident he can continue his football education – but also cope with the cut and thrust of the Scottish Premiership – at Ross County.

The 21-year-old full-back, who can also play centre-half, aims to soak up information from Staggies manager Malky Mackay, who secured his loan switch from Premier League side Southampton on Friday.

He could be pitched into action this evening as County return from the winter break with a home clash against fourth-placed Motherwell.

Ramsay, who has come through the academies at Chelsea and Southampton, has been on loan at Shrewsbury and, most recently, Crewe, where he racked up 19 appearances before a quickfire loan agreement last week saw him opt for a switch to Scotland.

He is the second defender to come in during the window, with Coventry City’s Declan Drysdale also joining on loan last week.

Harry Clarke returned to Arsenal before going on loan to Hibs, Alex Robertson returned his parent club Manchester City from his stint in Dingwall and Coll Donaldson has gone on loan to John Hughes’ Dunfermline Athletic, so the chance is there for Ramsay to shine at the back.

Ready for regular Premiership action

Ramsay joins fellow Saint, defender Jake Vokins, who is also on loan at Victoria Park and he clearly cannot wait to get started.

He said: “I want to gain a lot more experience in a different league. I want to show I can handle the Scottish Premiership.

“I want to use my attributes and what I’m good at to hopefully keep improving – it’s another step in my career.

On-loan Southampton defender Kayne Ramsay speaks to the press ahead of the Motherwell match on Tuesday. Pictures: Sandy McCook

“Hopefully this is another hurdle I can overcome.

“League One is different to this league, which has Celtic and Rangers and a lot of quality.

“Everyone in League One was good opposition. You never thought it was ever going to be an easy game, but this is another league for me and a different set of players. I want to show what I can do.”

Ramsay speaks with confidence and that belief was mirrored by his club coaches, who backed him to handle the heat in Scotland’s top-flight.

He said: “From their perspective, it was straight forward. They have seen Jake Vokins play games here and, given how they know me as a player, they feel I should be able to handle this league.

“Everyone has their weaknesses and I want to improve as a player. The manager, having been a defender, centre-half, can show me what he’s learned and how he can help me as well.”

Positive words prompted loan move

The player, who has made four first-team appearances for Saints – including a debut against Man City – and captained their under-23s, took advice from club-mates past and present and felt it was a move worth making until the end of the season.

He said: “I spoke to Che Adams, who said it’s cold up here!

“I also spoke to Callum Slattery, who is now at Motherwell and living in Glasgow. He said it was good and I would enjoy it.

“I had a few calls with Jake (Vokins). He said I should come up here because I’d enjoy it.

“It’s far away but, for four months, he said, you can get your head down and focus. The one job here is to come and play games and there are a lot of games coming up.

“As a young player, you just want to play games and win games.

Malky Mackay, the Ross County manager, has added two loan defenders this month.

“Jake said there is a great group of lads here and everyone’s happy. Everyone respects one another and does all the right things, all the procedures are in place, so you can do what you want to do.

“It’s been good, although training has been quite tough. Everyone is on it, which is good. That’s something I need as it will improve me as a player.”

Twice-weekly matches are no sweat

Games will come thick and fast for County now with four games in 12 days alone, but Ramsay is relishing the chance of playing as often as he can for County following on from a good run at Crewe.

He added: “I was playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday. I felt so fit within myself and that I could keep going.

“Then I had an ankle injury, which was tough. I was out for 10 weeks, but I overcame that and had some games since then. Hopefully I can now get back to two games a week.”

Although defending is his first job, Ramsay explained he likes to attack when he can, too.

He said: “I like to go forward, although defending comes first. I like bombing on, getting round my winger.”

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