Ross County manager Malky Mackay feels new additions Declan Drysdale and Kayne Ramsay have shown themselves capable of slotting straight into the Staggies’ side.
Both defenders have joined County on loan for the rest of the season, with Drysdale arriving from Coventry City and Ramsay drafted in from Southampton.
Drysdale, who has started the last two games, has already played beside two different centre-half partners after Ramsay was brought in for Saturday’s Scottish Cup loss to Livingston.
Although Drysdale gave away the penalty which separated the sides, Mackay feels his new recruits have stepped up to the early test of their mettle in Scottish football.
Mackay said: “The two boys that have come in have adapted really well.
“We had to throw them in together at the weekend through necessity. Declan has come in and played two games with two different partners in central defence.
“I think that’s admirable that he has come in and managed to cope with that. Even looking at the penalty against Livingston, I thought it was a 50/50 whether it was or not.
“Kayne came in and acquitted himself really well, too.
“You saw his pace, especially in the second half when he was one-on-one against Nouble, who was trying to run him.
“I’m delighted that he has come in and slipped into the group. I think it’s an easy group to slip into, but at the same time you’ve still got to do it.”
Drysdale and Ramsay could face a tough test should they get the nod against Dundee United on Wednesday, with recent signing Tony Watt in line for his first league start.
Striker Watt is the Premiership’s leading scorer from his previous stint with Motherwell, for whom he netted the winner against the Staggies in September.
Mackay added: “We’re up against a team who have just paid for the top goalscorer in the league.
“They have paid a lot of money for him, and a lot in wages I believe, so whenever a team that is spending money like that they will expect a return.
“I’m expecting a tough game against a team with a big squad.”
Mackay keen to use January budget wisely
Mackay says bolstering his defence was his priority in the January window, following the departures of Harry Clarke, Coll Donaldson and Tom Grivosti.
Although Mackay is still hoping to add to his squad, he says any further incomings must meet a certain standard.
He added: “The big issue we had was our defence with two leaving, so we managed to plug that area and we’ve got Keith Watson, Alex Iacovitti and Jack Baldwin all coming back as well.
“If someone comes in at the last minute, great, but I don’t intend to just stack and rack players here for the sake of it.
“It’s easy to say I’m going to bring four in and they hardly see the light of day for four months. It’s happened before at the club, but I’m not doing it.
“As far as any extras are concerned, it would have to be something that really changes us.
“I’ve got a couple of irons in the fire, but they’re irons in the fire that I probably shouldn’t get. Unless I do manage to pull something out of the bag that shouldn’t really come to us, then no.
“Whoever comes in would need to come in and start.
“In January you’re talking about the kind of thing Dundee United have just done – paid a lot of money for someone and given them a lot of money.”