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Malky Mackay says Ross Callachan among his biggest signing successes at Ross County

Ross Callachan celebrates netting against Aberdeen.
Ross Callachan celebrates netting against Aberdeen.

Malky Mackay says Ross Callachan’s new contract is reward for being one of his biggest recruitment successes at Ross County.

Midfielder Callachan has signed a 12-month extension to his deal at Victoria Park, to keep him at the club until 2024.

The 28-year-old was Mackay’s first signing at Dingwall last summer, when he joined from Hamilton Accies.

Callachan has gone on to make 38 appearances this term, netting four goals in a side which has helped the Staggies finish sixth in the Premiership.

Mackay has been thrilled with Callachan’s application since making the switch north.

The Staggies boss said: “Ross was our first signing here last summer when I came in, and he’s a terrific professional.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay, left, with Ross Callachan.

“He keeps himself immaculate and he has worked so hard for this team this year, playing a lot of football.

“He’s still learning, he’s open to learning, and he’s the type of player I want to have at the football club in terms of how he carries himself and how he represents Ross County.

“Ross has really found a home here at the football club I think.

“He feels comfortable within the environment, I get on great with him, and he’s one that you would put in the trenches right alongside you, shoulder to shoulder.

“He has absolutely got a willingness to go in to fight for his club, and he keeps himself immaculately.

“The amount of time he has been available for us has been great as well, so pound for pound, from our signings last summer, he’s certainly up there.

“I’m delighted that he has decided to add to that.”

Midfielder has shown positive changes to his game

Callachan arrived in Dingwall after netting 10 goals for Accies last term, although he was unable to prevent the Lanarkshire club from suffering relegation.

Mackay feels a development in the former Hearts and St Johnstone player’s game has made him comfortable deploying Callachan in different midfield roles.

Ross Callachan in action for Ross County.

He added: “I think you saw an improvement in the player that was at Hearts at Hamilton, and I think from his time at Hamilton he has changed again.

“There have been massive changes in him as a player.

“In the position that we’ve put him in, there have been two areas to it.

“When we’ve put him in as a 10. The amount of work that he now does with receiving the ball on the back foot and turning in that position is something that he didn’t do before. He was used to bombing into the box.

“When he opens his legs and goes forward and manages to break into areas, I think he’s timing things a lot better than he did.

“On the flip side of that, when we’ve put him back one spot deeper, when he’s facing the game, I think his decision making has got better and better as the season has gone on.”

Rewarding players a key part of recruitment strategy

Callachan joins a number of players in committing their long-term future to Dingwall, including Connor Randall, Jordan White and Jordan Tillson.

Mackay believes the club’s squad-building policy is beginning to take shape.

Malky Mackay.

He added: “It goes back to what I’ve spoken about before about our perception of recruitment from now on.

“We want to recruit, improve, reward and sell – this is the reward bit, and that’s something that sometimes clubs don’t do.

“That’s something we’re talking about at the club, making sure that, when we take players in and develop them, that we reward them and make them part of things as well.

“I think that’s nine or 10 players that have signed new contracts in the last three months, so I’m really happy to get Ross signed again.”

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