It was never going to be an easy task against Celtic, never mind facing them with one less player on the park.
When David Munro was called to his screen for a second look at James Brown’s tackle – Ross County hearts sunk around the Global Energy Stadium.
Everyone knew what was coming.
That was a real spanner in the works for Malky Mackay. And for that reason, the performance from then on in must be massively commended, despite losing the match 3-0.
Going man for man was bold, but it largely worked.
It meant we had very little going forward, but every single player put in a monstrous shift to make sure Celtic didn’t run away with the match.
Let’s be honest, the Staggies were far from brushed aside – Celtic’s fortunes came through quality goals, including a Luis Palma strike which was simply mind blowing.
Laidlaw is international class
As for Ross Laidlaw, there is a shortage of superlatives with stature enough to match the level of his goalkeeping display.
I have been an advocate of it for a couple of seasons now – but a place in the Scotland squad for the stopper can’t be too far into the horizon.
Year on year he is imperious, and he keeps getting better.
On current form, he should be favoured over other goalies in the conversation like Liam Kelly, David Marshall and Robby McCrorie.
Ross County fans are all too aware that games like that against the Old Firm aren’t going to have a bearing on our season as a whole.
As Malky Mackay said post match: “My battle isn’t against Celtic on days like today.”
Some may find that statement dismissing, but he’s frankly correct.
Our onus is next weekend, in what is a huge clash against St Johnstone.
We’ve beaten them once already this campaign – and it’s imperative we do so again, with what should be a strong Staggies crowd behind the team in Perth.
That would give ourselves a bit of comfort away from the bottom end of the table.