Midfielder Jordan Tillson is confident the real Ross County will present a tougher Easter Road challenge to Hibs this weekend from the one beaten by three swift goals at the start of the season.
Manager Malky Mackay was not long through the doors at the Global Energy Stadium when their first away Premiership game of the campaign ended in a 3-0 loss at Easter Road.
A massive turnaround in the player pool and Covid wrecking their League Cup chances made it a tough start to the 2021/22 term.
Hibs got off to a flying start in the league, though, as goals from Martin Boyle, Kyle Magennis and Christian Diodge within 12 first-half minutes left the Staggies stunned.
They did regroup and gave a much better account of themselves for the rest of the game and went on to defeat Hibs 1-0 in Dingwall in November thanks to a Blair Spittal goal, with the visitors ending with just nine men on the park after two late reds.
County are four matches unbeaten as they head to Edinburgh this weekend, while new Hibs manager Shaun Maloney is seeking his first victory in six league outings.
In fact, an away win would shoot Mackay’s 10th-placed team to within one point of the Hibees and 28-year-old Tillson feels current form points towards a close contest.
He said: “It’s obviously a different situation (compared to the first Hibs game).
“We chucked away a few goals too early and gave ourselves too much to come back from. We need to think about that going down there this time.
“Hibs have got a really strong team, I think everyone knows that, so hopefully we can go there and put a strong performance in and give a good account of ourselves.
“At the start of the season, we were newly together and we’ve found a way to click now. Hopefully we can go to Easter Road and get at them.”
Team going for goals in top-flight
County’s 38 goals make them the third-highest scorers in the top-flight behind Celtic (57) and Rangers (55).
While Regan Charles-Cook is the Premiership’s joint top-scorer alongside Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos with 11 goals, Tillson explained it stems from manager Mackay’s attacking demands.
He said: “We’ve obviously got a good scoring record at the moment.
“I think it’s just a team effort. Everyone is really buying into what the manager is saying, and we need to keep doing that.
“It has shown in the last couple of months that, if we do what he says, it’s going to help us.
“We have a really strong mentality, and I think how we’ve come back from falling behind in games goes to show the strength of the changing room that everyone is together.
“It’s a never-say-die attitude where everyone is ready to pull up and get on with it.”
Digging deep for precious points
County’s latest match was a 1-1 home draw against Livingston last Wednesday when Kayne Ramsay popped up with a stoppage-time leveller.
Former Exeter City player Tillson, who joined County in January 2020, knows the performance didn’t match their earlier efforts, but he aims to unite strong displays with winning results.
He said: “I think it was the opposite way around at the start of the season.
“We were playing some really good football, and we just weren’t picking up the results we needed.
“When we needed to pick up results, we weren’t doing that, but it seems to have flipped a bit now.
“Hopefully we can now kick on and start getting those performances a bit better and keep getting more results.”
After facing Hibs, County will hosts St Johnstone a week on Saturday.