Malky Mackay made six changes to his side that flew past Motherwell midweek and the team was peculiar, to say the least, having the look of a B-team.
Numerous players were pitched in out of position, including new man Kayne Ramsay, who played a starring role in the centre of defence alongside Declan Drysdale.
Despite playing a weaker side, Malky Mackay said post-match he ensured he “didn’t disrespect the Scottish Cup” and that the changes were enforced with “only 12 outfield players being fit to play”.
Drysdale and Ramsay were the shining lights in a performance that was reminiscent of our form at the start of the campaign.
Despite the concession of a penalty, Drysdale was solid, composed and fearless – often throwing his body on the line to keep the Staggies within touching distance.
Ramsay, who signed as a right back, was thrown in at the deep end for his full debut. He played in the centre of defence.
He handled the task incredibly well, winning many of his duals while using his pace to drive the team forward.
It was a lacklustre performance, and one that we have not been used to seeing of late.
The attacking display was weak with County only having three or four real chances throughout the tie.
Alex Samuel had the best of the chances and should have scored when he headed a gilt-edged chance wide of the Livingston goal.
The level of performance clearly highlighted that this County side has a massive reliance on Regan Charles-Cook and Joseph Hungbo.
When those two aren’t involved in the XI, attacking efforts look slow and ineffective.
Thank you for your fantastic support today! Tremendous from start to finish.
See you at Tannadice on Wednesday 💙 pic.twitter.com/iw128AaGhG
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) January 22, 2022
If County are to continue the push away from the drop, another dangerous winger would be an important investment to lighten the load for Charles-Cook and Hungbo, who, as we clearly saw against Livi, can’t continue to front our attacking threat alone, especially with the risk of injury and isolation.