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Malky Mackay takes belief from Ross County’s previous showings against Rangers

Malky Mackay.
Malky Mackay.

Malky Mackay says Ross County must take inspiration from their previous showings against Rangers this season.

The Staggies host the champions on Saturday lunchtime, providing them with a difficult challenge in their efforts to get back on track following back-to-back defeats to Livingston and Dundee United.

County have fallen to two 4-2 losses in their two meetings with the Gers this season, but have gained plaudits for their performance on each occasion.

Aberdeen are the only other team to have netted twice against the Ibrox outfit on league duty this term.

Despite the Gers having only conceded one goal in their last eight Premiership outings, Mackay feels his side have shown they have what it takes to cause the league leaders problems.

Mackay said: “We are playing against a top team with a great squad – that’s undoubted.

“What you’ve got to do is have belief when you play against them. When you coach against the top, there has to be a belief that you can tactically get into a situation where you can hurt the opposition no matter who they are.

“At times we have managed to do that, at other times we have not.

“We have got to make sure we stay as calm as possible when we are in those situations and make good decisions.

“We try to instil that confidence, by showing them evidence of what we have done before this season.”

Mackay relishing test against new counterpart Van Bronckhorst

County’s loss at Ibrox in November was previous manager Steven Gerrard’s final game in charge of Rangers, with Giovanni Van Bronckhorst now in charge.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst.

Mackay anticipates an equally difficult test this weekend, adding: “There’s a new manager and a slightly different way of playing.

“There are a couple of new players, but we are still playing against one of the best teams in the country who can bring five players off the bench that are just as good as what comes off.

“Against Rangers we have got to make sure we don’t allow easy opportunities, because they will score them if we give them half a yard.

“We need to be tight and compact, and make sure when we have got the ball, we use it well and do the best with it when we’ve got it.

“We are the fourth highest scorers in the league, and we’ve got the joint top scorer in the league right now in Regan.

“I know we can hurt teams. We’ve just got to make sure there’s a balance between that and making sure we stay tight and solid against them.

County are still 10th in the Premiership following their midweek loss to United, however Mackay takes heart from the fact his side has remained competitive in games even in defeat.

He added: “There was a big turnover in the summer, and it was a group getting to know each other.

“Even during that period, I genuinely don’t think anybody has hammered us.

“We have won, drawn and lost but we have been in every game. I want to make sure that continues because we’ve got a group of players who are organised and structured, and there’s a tactical discipline to what they do.

“We have also got the ability in certain parts of our team to score goals. When we’ve got that we’ve got half a chance.”

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