Ross County manager Jim McIntyre is determined to keep Dutch forward Alex Schalk in Dingwall after offering Sunday’s League Cup final match-winner a new two-year contract.
Schalk has scored six goals in 22 appearances since joining the Staggies from Go Ahead Eagles in October, most significantly the winning goal which wib County’s first major silverware in the Hampden victory against Hibernian.
Schalk is out of contract at the end of the season and McIntyre is hopeful the 23-year-old will remain in the Highlands.
McIntyre said: “We’ve offered Alex terms and we’re in negotiations. He has done well for us, he’s got different qualities to our other forwards and we’ve been a good fit for him. He’s really enjoyed his time here.
“Sometimes it’s best to stay put and learn because he’s still young. There’s much more to come from him and like any player scoring goals, they’ll attract interest. We’re hopeful he’ll stay.
“It’s a two-way street. We gave him a platform, had him on trial and felt he could bring something different. He’s certainly done that. He’s a fantastic lad – and he’s got a Scottish accent already.
“I’ve played with a lot of Dutch players and they’re a confident bunch. He’s a bit different and he’s settled in a treat.”
County return to Premiership action with tonight’s match at St Johnstone, who are only behind the fourth-placed Staggies on goal difference.
The Highlanders will celebrate their success with a parade in Dingwall after Saturday’s game against rivals Caley Thistle, and McIntyre is intent on taking maximum points from the next two league games as his side tries to secure a top-six place.
McIntyre said: “Saturday after the game will look after itself. The whole focus is on trying to get six points in the next two matches.
“We realise how difficult that will be as we’re facing teams that have been regularly in the top six and won cups in the last couple of years.
“We know we’ve got our work cut out. It’s up to us.”