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Derek Adams offers brutal assessment of Scottish football standard following Ross County’s last-gasp defeat to Dundee

Joe Shaughnessy netted the winner for Dundee in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Ross County manager Derek Adams during his side's defeat to Dundee. Image: SNS
Ross County manager Derek Adams during his side's defeat to Dundee. Image: SNS

Derek Adams launched a scathing assessment of the standard of Scottish football in the wake of Ross County’s late defeat to Dundee.

The Dark Blues snatched all three points in the seventh minute of injury time through Joe Shaughnessy, inflicting the cruellest of defeats on the Staggies.

It was an evenly-contested game, from which County were more than worthy of a point.

Had the Staggies held on for a goalless stalemate, it would have made it four successive clean sheets at home since Adams replaced Malky Mackay last month.

Ross County manager Derek Adams and goalkeeping coach Scott Thomson. Image: SNS

Adams has improved the Staggies’ fortunes since returning for a third stint at Dingwall, with a haul of seven points seeing them occupy ninth position at present.

His return ended a nine-year absence from Scottish football, during which time Adams has managed in England – most recently with League Two outfit Morecambe.

Having now taken charge of five matches, Adams insists the standard of football has been eye-opening to him – claiming he has a major job on his hands in trying to entertain the paying supporters.

Adams said: “I thought the game was poor – I thought the standard was shocking. The standard since I’ve come back to this country is shocking.

“We’ve got to have a better product.

Ross County manager Derek Adams. Image: SNS

“If I’m a paying customer, I don’t come to watch this football match.

“The standard has got to be a lot better. The way we pass the ball, create chances – it has to be better – and that’s for both sides.

“Ross County Football Club has to be better.

“I’ve seen some good play, but over the afternoon I’m standing on the touchline thinking ‘what a job you have got on here’.

“I’ve left a club that is 100 times better and we had the lowest budget in League Two.

“I just see some of the things that happened and think – ‘seriously?’

“It is so disappointing. I’m so annoyed, just at the way the game is.

“Even the opposition. You want someone to show up and produce some entertainment. I’m not seeing anything. I don’t see any entertainment.

“If this is the best we’ve got in the country, what are we going to do?”

Ross County manager Derek Adams. Image: SNS

“You get paid to score goals, create assists, keep the ball out of the net – that’s your job.

“That’s my opinion. That’s what I see – and I bet there’s a lot more people in that stadium who see the same thing as I see.”

Adams made one change from the side which was defeated by St Mirren the previous week, with Will Nightingale returning from suspension to replace the injured Dylan Smith.

County signalled their intention to make a quick start, with Yan Dhanda taking aim directly from kick-off with an audacious effort which only drifted narrowly wide of Trevor Carson’s goal.

Both sides had some neat exchanges in the opening stages, without managing to put meaningful pressure on either goal.

Scott Allardice in action against Dundee. Image: SNS

The Staggies carved an opening on 20 minutes when Simon Murray’s lofted ball in from the right flank sat up perfectly for Ben Purrington, however his far post header was knocked behind by Jordan McGhee.

Defender McGhee came to Dundee’s rescue again three minutes later when Murray took a long ball in his stride before sending a low effort goalwards which had the beating of goalkeeper Trevor Carson, only to be thwarted by a goal-line clearance.

Dundee’s first serious attempt at goal came on 38 minutes when the ball broke to Lyall Cameron on the edge of the box following a corner, but he was not able to keep his powerful effort down.

Murray was next to try his luck from distance at the other end after executing a neat turn to set himself up, however his strike sailed over the bar.

The former Dundee forward had the final effort of the first half after cutting in from the left following Scott Allardice’s through ball, with his effort blocked by Carson.

It had been an evenly-matched first half in which both sides looked lively, without showing a clinical edge.

The Dark Blues threatened shortly after the interval when Amadou Bakayoko went through on goal after getting the break of the ball off James Brown, however the Staggies rearguard recovered well to block the effort.

Amadou Bakayoko of Dundee challenges for the ball with Ryan Leak. Image: Shutterstock.

Brown had a chance of his own on 48 minutes when he was picked out by Murray’s cutback, but he sent his effort harmlessly over the bar.

A Dhanda free-kick caused problems for the visitors on 52 minutes, with Murray flashing a header just over, while Nightingale was well off target with an attempt from the edge of the box.

County shuffled their forward line on 67 minutes, with recently-returned Eamonn Brophy handed his first game time since Adams took charge, replacing Jordan White.

Dundee passed up a glorious chance on 70 minutes when an Owen Beck corner flew over the grasp of Ross Laidlaw to set up Bakayoko at the far post, however the striker nodded over with the full goal to aim at.

Laidlaw was called into action four minutes later when he tipped a Bakayoko effort around the post, as the visitors upped the pressure.

The Staggies looked to rally in the closing stages with Brophy seeing a low effort parried by Carson, with Brown unable to convert the rebound.

James Brown spurns an opportunity for Ross County against Dundee. Image: SNS

County had to defend courageously in stoppage time with Beck weaving his way into a shooting position before seeing his effort blocked behind.

With the game looking destined for a goalless stalemate, the visitors struck a dramatic winner through skipper Shaughnessy, who bundled home after the ball had ricocheted off Alex Samuel, after Luke McCowan’s free-kick had come back off the post.

Dundee celebrate their late winner against Ross County. Image: SNS

It prompted a pitch invasion from the travelling Dark Blues supporters – a sight which made the defeat even harder for County to swallow.

Player Ratings

ROSS COUNTY (3-4-1-2): Laidlaw 6; Nightingale 7, Baldwin 6, Leak 6; Brown 6 (Samuel 88), Randall 6, Allardice 6, Purrington 6; Dhanda 6 (Sheaf 75); Murray 7, White 6 (Brophy 67).

Subs not used: Munro, Turner, Sims, Loturi, Harmon, Henderson.

DUNDEE (3-5-2): Carson 6; Shaughnessy 6, Lamie 6, Donnelly 6; McGhee 7, Cameron 7 (Mulligan 62), Boateng 6 (Sylla 62), McCowan 7, Beck 7; Robinson 6 (Rudden 75), Bakayoko 7 (Reilly 90).

Subs not used: Legzdins, Kerr, Tiffoney, Robertson, Howley.

Referee: Colin Steven
Attendance: 4,014
Star Man: Owen Beck