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Malky Mackay preparing for another summer of change at Ross County

Malky Mackay.
Malky Mackay.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay is preparing for the challenge of replacing 10 players who look likely to leave Victoria Park this summer.

The Staggies have already confirmed Blair Spittal will depart, while six loan players have returned to their parent clubs.

Leading scorer Regan Charles-Cook – along with Harry Paton and Alex Iacovitti  – are nearing the end of their contracts, with their future remaining uncertain.

Having overseen the departure of 15 players following his arrival last year, Mackay has the long-term aim of achieving more continuity within his squad.

In the meantime, however, Mackay is expecting another summer of change at Dingwall.

He said: “The challenge is we have to make sure we refill the squad.

Blair Spittal is moving on from Ross County.

“Right now we have 10 players that at the moment won’t be here next year.

“We have to replace them and maybe add to that as well.

“It’s another summer of massive change in the recruitment side. I would like that to lessen over time and we will get there.

“We are dealing with historic situations with contracts, but we have a good solid base of players under contract.

“They know when they come back to pre-season how we like to play and work.”

Talent recruitment must factor in personality of targets

In his efforts to strengthen, Mackay insists the character of any potential target will be an important factor for him to assess.

Malky Mackay with Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor.

He added: “I spoke to the owner and Steven Ferguson and spoke about talent identification and how important it is for the club’s long-term strategy.

“I realised that the actual personality of the player is just as important as the talent, because they all have talent if they play at a good level. But their personality makes a huge difference at a club.

“There’s a lot of talent out there, but how it does is a lot to do with their mindset and being open to change.”

County boss has not been disappointed by any player in squad

County ended the season in the top-six for the first time since 2016, but narrowly missed out on a European place.

Although players received varying levels of game time, Mackay insists he cannot fault the efforts of any member of his squad.

He added: “We had a small squad after a lot of players had been released. There was a bit of news concerning that at the time.

“We had that to combat and then we got players in. The club spoke to a lot of players and finally got 10 or 12 in the door.

“We got back involved, got it going and got a new group to play with each other and understand the style I wanted us to play.

“I certainly felt in the mini league we had with Motherwell and Dundee United we were as good as both of them.

“If I had thought we were going into the last five games, not acquitting ourselves well and had the tools down, then things would be different.

“I look at the team on a day to day business and I can’t be disappointed with any player we have.”

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