Ross County V Partick at Victoria Park : Match Preview

28 February 2014 04:31
Ross County V Partick - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Combative Kiss happy to battle

Ross County midfielder Filip Kiss insists he can handle the rough and tumble of Scottish football after declaring himself as the Staggies' "tough guy".

The Slovakian was handed his first taste of Highland derby action on Tuesday but ended up on the wrong side of a painful 3-0 defeat to Inverness.

The on-loan Cardiff midfielder struggled to get a grip of the play as John Hughes' combative Caley Jags out-fought their Dingwall rivals.

But Kiss insists he has a stomach for a fight and aims to prove that by battling to three points against Partick this Saturday.

Kiss said: "Every match so far I have come off with a few knocks.

"But I'm a tough guy so I don't have a problem with it. That is football, especially Scottish football.

"To be honest I enjoy that side of it. I do feel a bit bad for the last game against Inverness.

"I knew before the game it would be very physical and it really was. It wasn't really about how much football you played. Even though we tried, it just wasn't our day.

"But this is the type of game that will kick you in the backside and it will get us ready for Partick on Saturday."

David Raven gave Inverness an early lead at the Global Energy Stadium before Billy McKay and Marley Watkins completed the victory.

And Kiss admits the County players felt red-faced after the defeat.

"Everyone at the club was disappointed after the game, especially the players because we felt a bit embarrassed," he said.

"In the first half, we were not that bad but we made individual errors and conceded two goals. Then in the second half, we could sense the crowd was getting frustrated because it was a big derby, we did not play as well as we should have.

"We should have done more to come back but didn't and as the game went on we felt more and more frustrated and couldn't even create a chance."

County are level on points with Partick in the race to avoid the relegation play-offs but Kiss is keen to forget about their midweek setback.

He said: "We need to put the Caley defeat behind us as soon as possible then look forward to the next game and hope to bounce back as soon as possible."

County forward Melvin De Leeuw has moved closer to full fitness ahead of the Scottish Premiership clash with Partick.

The Dutchman has been used sparingly since returning to the squad following a knee injury but could start against the Jags.

Manager Derek Adams has no other injury worries.

Partick defender Aaron Muirhead could bolster Alan Archibald's squad for the clash having missed out against Aberdeen last week after struggling with a knock.

Long-term absentees Isaac Osbourne (ankle) and Sean Welsh (groin) remain out.

Midfielder Stuart Bannigan insists Partick will retain their passing philosophy despite the relegation battle intensifying.

Thistle travel to Dingwall having moved above Ross County on goal difference following their win over Aberdeen.

Both teams are still only a point above the relegation play-off place and each game takes on more significance as the season finish gets closer.

But Thistle have achieved promotion and plaudits through their passing style of play and have also been competitive in the top flight.

Bannigan said: "We will never stop doing that. That's what we do. We have come up and will stick to our philosophies. We will keep passing the ball.

"The pitches aren't great so we might need to watch what we are doing in certain areas but we will be looking to keep passing the ball."

Last weekend's victory over Aberdeen ended Partick's 13-game wait for a home win in the Scottish Premiership but Bannigan knows they cannot dwell on their impressive 3-1 triumph.

"Aberdeen were absolutely flying, they had just beat Celtic in the cup," the 21-year-old said.

"So they were the form team in the league and it was a really big result for us, especially moving us away from second-bottom place.

"But we have some big games coming up so that game's in the past now.

"We are playing Ross County and both of us are down the bottom so we need to pick up three points."

Source: PA