Ross County V St Mirren at Victoria Park : Match Preview

21 February 2014 04:01
Ross County V St Mirren - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Carey welcomes Kiss comeback

Ross County winger Graham Carey has welcomed the return of Filip Kiss to the Staggies line-up, insisting the Slovakian is making his new team-mates better players.

On-loan Cardiff midfielder Kiss made a stunning start to life in Dingwall, scoring four goals in his first two games after securing an early January switch.

But he missed last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Hibernian after collecting two yellow cards against Kilmarnock the match before.

Kiss, 23, will return to Derek Adams' side for Saturday's Scottish Premiership visit of St Mirren and Irishman Carey cannot wait to have him back.

He said: "Filip has been a massive player for us already after just four games. His experience of playing at the level he's come from is vital for us.

"His quality as well is tremendous and since he has come in, the level of training has gone up a notch.

"That breathes new life into the squad and makes everyone else better.

"He has been a good match for us. It's not just the fact we've managed to get a big name from a top club, he has gelled with the squad and it's working well."

County are tied in second bottom along with Partick Thistle on 22 points and desperately need to beat Carey's old side Saints this weekend if they are to start nudging themselves away from the relegation play-off spot.

But while the Highlanders have already shot down top-six opposition in the shape of Aberdeen, Inverness, St Johnstone and Dundee United this term, they have not beaten a side in the bottom half since September's 2-1 win over Hearts.

Carey said: "When we have been playing the sides around us it has been a bit edgy and a bit nervy.

"You don't want to lose those games because they are six pointers. You just can't afford to drop points against the sides around you.

"If we could just bring that same freedom we have when we take on the sides in the top six then we would do all right."

St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin admits he is not interested in making friends on the pitch - but he has no desire to make enemies.

So the midfielder has been frustrated to find himself developing a villain status in Scottish football.

Goodwin's combative style has been criticised by Scottish Premiership managers such as Dundee United's Jackie McNamara and Adams.

Goodwin told Press Association Sport: "Listen, I don't go out on the park on a Saturday to make friends, but I certainly don't go out to make enemies either.

"I just go out to play a game of football and do my best for my team-mates and my club and try to win the game. I'll get stuck in but I expect my opponent to get stuck in as well. When the game is over, we shake hands and move on."

The Irishman felt there was an overblown reaction to him striking United midfielder Stuart Armstrong with his arm on Boxing Day, which earned him a two-match ban after the Tayside club highlighted the incident on their social media platforms.

Goodwin, who begins another two-match suspension after the County match, said: "I have only got myself to blame in terms of what I did during the game and I apologised to the lad Armstrong for that. But I do think the hype after it has been completely blown out of proportion.

"I don't think there was an awful lot happening around the Christmas/January period and my bit just took over and they managed to get a week out of it in the press.

"But it's a long time ago now and I've moved on. it was difficult at the time but I've just got to learn from it and move on.

"If that tag is going to come with me, then so be it. I'm grateful to the club for their support during the time, they backed me along with my team-mates, and that's the most important thing."

Adams likened Goodwin to a "ghost" after claiming the Saints player got away with "kicking lumps" out of his players during County's 2-1 defeat at St Mirren Park in November.

The 32-year-old said: "I don't think opposition managers or players should be slagging off other players or managers.

"I'm a great believer that people should get their own house in check before they start pointing the finger at others.

"I have never been one for publicly slagging off people and I won't start doing it now. If I've got something to say to somebody, then I would rather say it to their face.

"During the game we play hard and play to win and when the referee blows the whistle, we all shake hands and move on.

"That's the way I have always gone about it in my career and I'm not going to go down the road that other people choose to go down."

Source: PA