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Duncan Shearer: New Ross County boss Derek Adams is testing the ‘don’t go back’ theory to the full

Adams has the challenge of hauling the Staggies up the table after returning for a third spell as manager.

Derek Adams is back at Ross County.
Derek Adams is back at Ross County.

An often-used phrase in football is “never go back”.

Derek Adams will be testing the theory to the limit after being lured back to Ross County to manage the club for a third time.

He left his first spell at Ross County to be assistant manager at Hibernian under Colin Calderwood.

I know Colin well and I remember him telling me Derek was a man with strong opinions.

It’s not a criticism to suggest the adjustment from being the manager to an assistant at Easter Road was not the easiest.

Some guys are managers, some are assistants and others are capable of being either role.

When I look at Derek’s career, it is clear he is a manager – and one who has done well with limited resources for that matter.

Since leaving County for a second time, he has worked exclusively in England for the past eight years.

He did well at Plymouth Argyle and in both his spells with Morecambe, and I’ve no doubt he will be returning to County a better manager for the experience he has gained down south.

Derek was a man who fought his corner for his club during his previous spells at County, and I’ll be curious to see whether he has mellowed from his time in England.

Roy MacGregor hoping for a bounce under a new boss

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor. Image: SNS.

I’m still a little surprised Malky Mackay’s services were no longer required.

But County chairman Roy MacGregor clearly feels a change is good as a rest after deciding to make a change of manager at the club.

I know it has been a tough start for County and that last season was difficult, too, but I don’t think they are a million miles away from being a good side.

The style of play has had me believing they are heading in the right direction and I’ve been fortunate to watch some very good home games.

But I suspect the positive effect managerial changes have made elsewhere have planted a seed at County.

County have pointed to their investment in the squad during the summer and the lack of progress being made as a reason for making a change.

Clearly, the positive kick-start at other clubs has also not been missed at the Global Energy Stadium either.

Philippe Clement has had an instant impact at Rangers and the same can be said for Craig Levein at St Johnstone.

Closer to home, Duncan Ferguson is unbeaten in his first six games in charge at Caley Thistle in the Championship.

That’s three positive bounces at three different clubs and clearly Roy will be looking to Derek to have the same impact at his club, starting with Saturday’s home game against Kilmarnock.

He is inheriting a squad which should be higher up the table as far as I’m concerned and if Derek can turn those fine margins in his side’s favour then I’m confident the Staggies will turn the corner.

Keeping emotions in check is vital for Aberdeen against Rangers after Celtic rout

The Aberdeen players need to let their heads rule their hearts on Sunday against Rangers. Image: Shutterstock.

Calm heads need prevail among the Aberdeen players when Rangers visit Pittodrie on Sunday.

Dons fans will be expecting a reaction from their side this weekend following the 6-0 thrashing by Celtic before the international break.

But it is important the players don’t get carried away with the emotion against a Gers side who have sparked into life under their new manager.

Philippe Clement has quickly turned Rangers into the form team in the league and they will also have revenge in their minds following the Dons’ impressive 3-1 win at Ibrox in Michael Beale’s last game in charge.

I used to love facing Rangers at Pittodrie when I played for the Dons.

The atmosphere was fantastic and of course it helped that I managed to score a few goals against them in front of the home support.

Dons will be determined to bounce back

There’s always a sense of expectation and anticipation among the Red Army whenever Rangers come to town and it’s important Barry Robson’s players don’t allow themselves to be swept away by that atmosphere.

Barry and his players have had two weeks to think about that Celtic loss – which will have wounded their pride.

I’ve been there before and sometimes being able to pause, take stock and hit the reset button is welcome.

On other occasions the best thing is getting back out there as quickly as possible.

But there’s no blueprint to how to handle a heavy defeat.

What I have seen is that desire to produce a response getting the better of players.

A combination of wanting to bounce back and also give the fans something to sing about is understandable – but keeping those emotions in check and not doing anything rash is equally important.

Caley Thistle back on the Scottish Cup trail

Danny Devine celebrates scoring against Dunfermline. Image: SNS.

Three wins and three draws represents a fine start for Duncan Ferguson at Caley Thistle.

The recovery continued with another hard-earned point at Dunfermline on Saturday – even though Caley Jags may have rode their luck a little given the Pars hit the woodwork seven times.

One interesting stat I’ve noticed is that Inverness have never trailed in any of their matches since Duncan arrived.

There’s been one goalless draw against Partick Thistle, but in the other five games the first goal has gone their way.

I’m interested to see how the players will react when they do eventually concede first but I’m sure the manager will be looking for his players to continue that feelgood factor in the Scottish Cup this weekend.

A change of competition brings a change of focus for Caley Thistle.

Reaching the Scottish Cup final last season was a significant feat for the club both in terms of the occasion and, of course, financially.

It was a timely boost when they needed it most and they will be strong favourites when their campaign starts on Saturday at home to Lowland League side Cowdenbeath.