JASON Naismith believes Ross County are ready to launch into their toughest spell of the season with seven games inside four punishing weeks.
They kick off with Dundee on Saturday at home, but the 23-year-old Dingwall defender insisted it was a game where they could pick up the points.
Naismith said: “It is tough physically but we have had a difficult run of fixtures recently playing Hearts twice, Celtic twice and Aberdeen twice.
“So now we are going into fixtures where we are hoping to pick up points and hopefully we can start with Dundee.
“I thought we didn’t have a lot of quality at the weekend against Hearts, but we defended well especially losing a couple of players to injury with Andy Davies and Jim O’Brien going off.
“I thought we dealt with it well and we re-shuffled which again showed the character of the team, with players playing out of position.
“And especially at a place like Hearts who are a really good team and buoyant in a new look stadium.
“So for us to stand up to them at Tynecastle was good.”
And Naismith reckoned Ross County could have pocketed the points after TV pictures revealed Alex Schalk’s first half effort should have stood as a goal.
He added: “At the time I thought it was onside and the linesman has just gone with the shout from the Hearts fans.
“Sometimes that happens at bigger grounds. You don’t get those decisions and obviously it is bitterly disappointing for us and also for Alex because he deserved a goal.
“You become accustomed to it in a sense, but we just need to take it and use it as motivation as us versus them and in a way it makes us try harder.”
Naismith told how he turned to his old Buddie Steven Thompson, from St Mirren, to find out more about his new manager Owen Coyle.
He said: “I spoke to Stevie, who the gaffer had when he was in charge at Burnley, and he told me everything was good about his training and how much fun it is .
“I don’t know if it is being new, but he is a great motivator and his enthusiasm rubs off on you.
“He is a good man manager and that is one of his best qualities. He can also give you a kick up the backside and is not Mr Nice Guy. He is hard but fair.”