Ross County V Dundee at Victoria Park : Match Preview

03 April 2017 04:34

Jim McIntyre concerned Ross County could end up in relegation trouble

Jim McIntyre has warned Ross County not to compound their top six disappointment by slipping into a relegation scrap.

The Staggies' faint hopes of finishing the season in the top half were finally ended by Saturday's 2-1 defeat away to Partick Thistle.

They now sit ninth, just a point above Hamilton in the play-off zone and only three from basement boys Inverness.

But boss McIntyre fears his team could end up in trouble after watching the Highlanders register just one win from their last nine games.

Dundee's visit on Tuesday night offers an opportunity to arrest that slide and McIntyre is urging his players to grasp it.

"We know Dundee are going to be desperate to bounce back from what was a really sore night against Aberdeen," he said, referring to the Dark Blues' 7-0 drubbing on Friday night.

"But equally so are we. Saturday was our last chance to get that sixth spot.

"Now that's gone and we are in a dog fight. We need to do enough to win games and make sure we don't get dragged right into the relegation scrap.

"It's a clear goal for us but it's also a great opportunity for us tomorrow night."

Tim Chow could return to the Ross County line-up after serving a suspension but Paul Quinn (hamstring), Tony Dingwall (knee), Ian McShane (groin) and Chris Burke (illness) miss out.

Dundee manager Paul Hartley has focused on making his players feel better about themselves rather than poring over the details of their 7-0 home thrashing by Aberdeen.

The heavy defeat, coupled with Partick Thistle's victory on Saturday, left Dundee seven points off the Ladbrokes Premiership top six with three games before the split, meaning Tuesday's game is more about scrapping for survival than aiming for the top half.

Dundee have now lost four games in succession since handing out their own emphatic beating, a 5-1 win at Motherwell, so Hartley knows how quickly things can turn.

And he believes a positive attitude is the key to making that happen.

Hartley said: "Obviously after the game on Friday night the mood was really low, but my job was to try and pick the players up. When they came in on Sunday we were really positive with them.

"We have a quick turnaround with the game so we can't be too down. The game's gone, it was a disappointing performance, we know that we let ourselves down. But we are ready to go again.

"We have remained upbeat over the last two days. That's my job as a manager, to make sure the players are positive enough to go into the game.

"We need a big performance, it's two teams that both need the points. We know we are in a fight down at the bottom, so we need to go to Dingwall in a positive mindset."

Hartley was upbeat at his pre-match media conference and dismissed suggestions he was under pressure.

"Being a manager, you know what it is," he said. "It's about results and trying to win games of football. So I don't feel the pressure.

"I try and prepare the players, if the pressure is on me the players will soon realise that. I try to remain focused and do my job, being on the training ground is the best possible way.

"We can have meeting after meeting with the players but the best thing for me is to get them on the training ground."

Marcus Haber returns after missing the Aberdeen defeat but fellow forward Faissal El-Bakhtaoui drops out with a calf injury.


Source: PAR


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