Ross County manager Jim McIntyre has called for a strong reaction in today’s meaningless Betfred Cup tie against Cove Rangers to lift the mood ahead of next weekend’s Premiership opener against Dundee.
County cannot qualify for the last 16 of the competition, after their defence of the trophy was ended by Tuesday’s humiliating 3-2 defeat by League 1 side Alloa Athletic.
With only pride at stake, McIntyre says the Staggies must channel their frustration into gearing up for the league campaign with a resounding display against the Highland League champions at Victoria Park today.
He said: “Tuesday night was a horrible game but, for me, we have to use this as preparation for the Dundee game in our league opener. We know we have put ourselves under pressure for that by exiting the cup.
“We are not far away in terms of being ready. These games, like pre-season games, are about preparation and getting ready. I saw enough from Tuesday to show that we looked good going forward, we were menacing and could have scored a lot more goals.
“From that point of view, we are getting better and better, but when players make individual errors and bad decisions because of nervousness, that can cause us to have a result like we got.
“That’s what happened, we made individual errors and got punished. That happens in football. But we have a good group of players here and I am confident that we will get a reaction.”
McIntyre is sure the Dingwall side will respond to the setback and added: “For us, it is now about licking our wounds. We have taken the biggest possible slap in the face after all the plaudits after winning the League Cup, we are now embarrassed by exiting the cup in the early stages. We have got to stick together, which we will do. We have to use this to galvanise us and go on and have a successful season.”
McIntyre hopes to welcome back defender Andrew Davies, who has been sidelined from the last two games with a calf injury, but Marcus Fraser is still recovering from a shoulder operation.