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  • Ross County: The View From the Opposition

     

    Following last Fridays huge win over The Rangers at Dens Park, Dundee travel up to the Highlands in the hope of building on that victory against Ross County.

    County took all the points in our first clash against them this term as they ran out 2-1 victors at Dens on the opening day of the season. As ever, we spoke to JailEnder to catch up on what has been going on with his club since our last interview.

    Dundee are without a win in four against the Staggies, our last came up at Victoria Park with a 3-1 win on the first day of the 2016/17 season. 

    We spoke before the opening match of the new Premiership season and you wrongly predicted a 1-1 draw between the clubs. Fortunately for you, it still had an empty ending with a Ross County win. Were you surprised with the win or feel that the Staggies deserved all three points?

    It's always hard to gauge the first game of a league season, not knowing how teams are compared to each other, but we did perform better in the first half of that game than I thought we would, and although we hung on a bit in the second half I do think the 3 points were deserved

    Things never went so well after that. Put out the League Cup in extra-time at home to Motherwell along with five defeats and a draw resulted in Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds losing their jobs. Was it time for them to go or did they deserve more time?

    The time for McIntyre and Dodds to go was long overdue - I'd have preferred had they gone a year ago to be honest.

    Summer of 2016 was a disaster for County with several poor managerial decisions such as the fallout with Scott Boyd and McIntyre that saw half the squad side with Boyd and the other half with McIntyre - as a result we lost a lot of good players like Ricky Foster and Brian Graham for nothing.

    Then there was McIntyre stubbornness to play Boyce out of position for 3 months where we barely won a game - only when he moved him back as a striker at the tail end of the season did things improve.

    Although we finished 7th in the league, given the cost of our squad last season we should have been top 6.

    Owen Coyle being announced as the new manager was a shock announcement wasn’t it?

    It was a bit of a shock to see Coyle announced, but when you look back through managerial appointments made by Roy McGregor he usually brings in a surprise.

    But after hearing the interviews and how Coyle and McGregor have stayed in touch since he played at County 15 years ago or so maybe it wasn't as surprising as we thought.

    Also it appears that Coyle and McGregor have the same style of values, personally and work wise. So by the sounds of things, there is a longer term friendship there than most knew about.

    Since his arrival he has managed eleven out of twenty-four points. A good return so far, especially since you had to play both Celtic and Aberdeen?

    Coyle has improved us a lot since he arrived. 11 out of 24 points might not sound earth shattering, but I think we had only won 6 from 18 points before that, so the points ratio has improved.

    The style of play is better too, defensively it's much much better. Under McIntyre we knew we'd have to score twice just to get a point, now there is a good chance of us keeping a clean sheet, while scoring goals is still an issue in games, there is a bit more of an attacking and exciting style to our play.

    What has he changed around the club?

    There is also a lot more enthusiasm around the club. Coyle himself emits enthusiasm and it appears to be rubbing off on everyone from the players, to admin staff and the fans.

    You mentioned before that a 7th place finish could be achieved. Considering how tight this league is (excluding the top), do you think you can still achieve this finish?

    7th place is still achievable, in fact I wouldn't rule out aiming for 6th too.

    So many teams are closely matched and swap places all the time, it'll all come down to who gets a good run at the end of the season. A good run by any team just before the split could see anyone nick that 6th place. So while the results will be important, the timing of the run could also be equally important.

    Finally, we have only picked up one point away from home all season. You must fancy County for this? Dundee fans will be on a high though after Fridays victory over Rangers. Predictions?

    I watched the Dundee vs Rangers game last Friday evening as we play both teams in the next week.. During the first half I was saying to my son that we should be looking for 2 wins against you both.

    However the second half showed that Dundee might have the most gifted players, but there is a fighting spirit in that team so it won't be easy.
    I'd still hope we can win this game, and to be honest would be disappointed if we don't but it's not going to be easy. We'll have to be at our best to win

    County 1-0 Dundee

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