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Former player Martin Scott tips Derek Adams to lift Ross County in Premiership

The former Staggies manager is set to boss the Dingwall club for a third time after leaving English League Two side Morecambe.

Derek Adams after leading Morcambe into League One after a play-off final win at Wembley. Image: Shutterstock.
Derek Adams after leading Morcambe into League One after a play-off final win at Wembley. Image: Shutterstock.

Former Ross County star Martin Scott is sure Derek Adams can lift the Staggies from a relegation scrap towards Premiership top-six contention.

Gala Fairydean Rovers manager Scott insists 48-year-old Adams – who is set to be confirmed as Malky Mackay’s successor in the Dingwall hot-seat on Monday evening – will make sure County are in with a chance of victory every time they play.

County host Kilmarnock on Saturday as Adams takes charge of the Highland club for a third time, having left his post at League Two Morecambe.

County’s last victory came away to Killie on September 2, and means they are only above the top-flight’s basement team Livingston on goal difference.

Adams bossed County from 2007 to 2010, and then for three years from 2011 after an intervening period where he serves as assistant boss to Colin Calderwood at Hibs. Adams was sacked from his second stint with the Staggies after a poor start to the 2013/14 season.

Scott, who famously scored in the 2-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win against Celtic under Adams in 2010, enjoyed five fabulous years with the Dingwall club from 2006.

He also returned on loan to County from Hibs in 2012/13 – again playing for Adams.

Adams’ sides are always competitive

The ex-midfielder was reminded first hand on a visit south last year what Ross County fans will expect from Adams’ team now he’s back.

Gala Fairydean Rovers manager Martin Scott. Image: Thomas Brown/Gala Fairydean Rovers

He said: “I was lucky enough to go down and take in a League One match last season before Morecambe went back down to League Two.

“It was against Bolton. You can imagine the budget (Bolton) have – yet Morecambe were very competitive.

“The way Derek sets his teams up, they are always competitive and, in games, there is never a gulf in class between any of Derek’s teams and their opponents.

“His teams are always so organised and so fit. There is no doubt Ross County will compete.

“The Premiership is a tight league. It’s an interesting league this season and it won’t take too much to get some consistency and get some more points on the board.

“They could then be near the top-six area – which is achievable.”

Adams capture is a ‘shrewd’ move after further proof of abilities down south – Scott

Former Aberdeen midfielder Adams’ first managerial job in England was at Plymouth Argyle, who he led to promotion from League Two in 2017.

Before this, across his two earlier stints with County, he had already guided the Staggies to the Scottish Second Division and First Division titles in 2008 and 2012.

When he exited Morecambe after a second spell there on Monday morning, he had them ninth in the table, having previously led the club up to League One via the play-offs in 2021.

Scott believes Adams’ reappointment at County makes perfect sense, and sees why chairman Roy MacGregor has brought the boss back north.

“I think it’s a very shrewd appointment from Roy MacGregor and the club,” Scott said.

“Everybody obviously knows Derek in the Highlands and how successful he has been at Ross County and at clubs in England.

“To go down south and be successful over a nine-year period is exceptional.

“It shows you the calibre of the man in terms of his management skills and his overall skillsets that he can bring to any football club.

“Derek knows the club very well and knows the Premiership, so this is a positive for Ross County moving forward.”

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor. Image: SNS Group

‘County just need a bit more consistency – there’s no immediate panic’

Two years ago, Mackay took County from the lower reaches of the Premiership earlier in the season to a stunning sixth-placed finish.

But, last term, the Staggies needed a great escape in the play-off final against Partick Thistle in June to remain in the top tier of Scottish football.

And Scott – whose Gala Fairydean side sit just outside the top 10 in the Lowland League – felt Mackay had put together a capable squad this season.

However, he feels Adams is the man to spark a revival from their early-season fortunes.

Scott added: “They are probably just looking for a wee bit more consistency and to put a run of games together.

“It’s not an immediate panic situation they are in.

“Over the last 10 years, Derek will have gathered invaluable experience in England. I think he’s probably even better equipped now on his return to Ross County.

“I can only see him turning it around. He has a track record of being successful.

“If you look at Ross County, they have a good squad of players. Malky Mackay has done well with the recruitment side of things.

“It maybe just needed a bit of a shake-up and to go in a different direction and that’s why they’ve appointed Derek.

“If you look at the club, Derek, many moons ago, was part of the process 0f starting the journey they have been on.

“It’s the right time for Derek to come back and try to take them on to the next level.

“He will aim to take the club forward again.”