Steven Mackay believes Don Cowie will be intent on putting his own stamp on Ross County during his spell as interim manager.
Cowie has taken temporary charge of the Staggies, in the wake of Derek Adams’ resignation earlier this week.
The 40-year-old has been part of the Staggies’ coaching setup since 2020, having served as first team coach under both Stuart Kettlewell and John Hughes.
He was promoted to assistant manager when Malky Mackay took charge the following year, and continued in the position during Adams’ short tenure.
Although Cowie has picked up experience within four different management teams, Mackay insists he will be eager to implement his own style on a Staggies side he is already familiar with.
Experience will serve Cowie well to be ‘his own man’
Nairn County manager Mackay said: “Don is his own man, he always has been, and he will want to put his own stamp on things. There’s no question about that.
“Equally, I’m sure he will use the experience and learnings he has picked up over the last few years in working under the likes of John Hughes, Malky Mackay and Derek, even if it was for a short time.
“He will have seen the good, the bad and the indifferent during that phase, but he will want to do his own thing and be his own man.
“Being a manager in your own right is hard enough, never mind going into a completely new squad of players you don’t know much about. That’s what Derek walked into I guess.
“But Don will have that familiarity, and he will know the expectations of the club. It will be a massive advantage.
“He knows the club inside out, and more importantly he knows the players inside out.
“He will know what makes them tick – what player needs a cuddle and what player maybe needs a firmer word.
“He’s got the capabilities to do both.”
Cowie showed pathway to top during playing career
Midfielder Cowie enjoyed an hugely successful playing career, after making the switch to Watford in 2009 following an 18-month spell at Caley Thistle.
After two years with the Hornets he joined Cardiff City, who he helped win promotion to the English Premier League in 2013.
He went on to have spells with Wigan Athletic and Hearts before finishing his career with the Staggies. He also won 10 Scotland caps between 2009 and 2012.
Mackay feels the professionalism Cowie showed to reach the highest level as a player has shone through in his coaching career, which he believes will serve him well in management.
He added: “I can just imagine how methodical his training sessions are, and how well organised and professional they are.
“He has done that all throughout his career, which is why he played at the top level.
“That’s why people respect him – because he is meticulous.
“That’s just the way he is. If he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it right. That’s what Ross County need.
“Players will see and recognise that because he will leave no stone unturned in his preparation for games. He will consider every option, and what is best for the team.
“I just think players will respond to that – if I was a player, that’s the type of manager I would want to play for.”
A trip to Ibrox first up for interim Staggies boss
Cowie faces a difficult start to his interim spell, with a trip to Rangers on Wednesday.
Adams stepped down following a run of nine matches without a victory in all competitions, which leaves them 11th in the Premiership table.
Mackay feels Cowie will relish the challenge of trying to turn County’s fortunes around.
He added: “Don will go there and try and get a response and a positive result. He will know that performances and results against Rangers won’t define their season.
“What he will be looking for is all the habits, and the things that allowed him to have a good career.
“He will want to see the players gel together, he will want to see a certain level of work-rate and a level of organisation.
“Those are the things I would imagine he will be looking for. If they can get a result out of it, even better, but it will be the performances against the teams around them that will really matter.
“It’s important the club finds an element of stability and I think he will offer that. He’s a familiar face, he’s not someone new coming into the squad.
“I just hope he gets enough time to show what he can do. Hopefully he does get that opportunity.”