Published: 26/09/2013 06:00 - Updated: 25/09/2013 07:35

Adams sets sights on top six charge

Written byby Paul Chalk

Ross County's Richard Brittain celebrates after heading in the late winning goal against Hearts.
Ross County's Richard Brittain celebrates after heading in the late winning goal against Hearts.

ROSS County boss Derek Adams is targeting a charge for the Scottish Premiership top six before Scotland close their World Cup qualifying campaign against Croatia.

The Dingwall team, who beat Hearts 2-1 on Saturday, heads to in-form Motherwell this Saturday – one week before they host another impressive side, Aberdeen.

With the international break following, Adams hopes that the Staggies can score another win to drive towards mid-table.

He explained: "We are nine points off the top of the table. It’s very tight in the Scottish Premiership. We have picked up seven points from our last four games and have been playing well in each one. I see people talking about titles, relegations and play-off places, but we’re only seven games into a campaign, so there’s a long way to go.

"Motherwell are on a good unbeaten run of four games and are now just three points behind the leaders (Inverness CT and Celtic), but we are looking to go there and get a result. We have a couple of former players there now, Iain Vigurs and Paul Lawson, who did very well for this club and it will be good so see them again. Both players will be looking forward to playing against their old team. They are talented individuals.

"They are all big games and we’re looking forward to it. We went into the last international break in good form and we’re looking to do the same. We’re looking to win at Motherwell then at home to Aberdeen."

He added: "We pushed Motherwell close last season and played well against them the majority of the time. However, we’ve changed a bit and so have they, so it will be an interesting match. It’s always good for the home team at Fir Park. They know the surroundings and the lay-out and the pitch has various slopes across it, but we always enjoy playing there."

A Melvin De Leeuw goal on 88 minutes cancelled out Callum Paterson’s first half opener for Hearts on Saturday.

County though pressed in stoppage time and grabbed the victory with a goal from skipper Richard Brittain, witb both scoring supplying one another with the telling crosses.

Despite leaving it so late, Adams felt his side, who lost 4-2 to Dundee United six days before, deserved to take maximum points.

He said: "We played very well. We had more opportunities than Hearts and I felt, overall, we deserved to win. It was a great way to win any match. We left it a wee bit late, but scored two quality goals – De Leeuw scoring from a Richard Brittain cross and then vise versa with Brittain scoring from De Leeuw’s cross.

"Hearts are a good side. They have a number of good young players in their side. They also have experience with the likes of Jamie MacDonald, Danny Wilson and Jamie Hamill in their team, so from that point of view it was a very good win for us."

Adams last week spoke of his frustration at individual mistakes proving so costly, but he said about Saturday’s display: "We obviously conceded a goal, which could have been stopped, but we looked much better in terms of cutting out the individual errors."

Caley Thistle, who lost their first game of the season at 1-0 at Aberdeen on Saturday had not changed their starting 11 in any of their first seven games.

Adams, however, reckons there are benefits to be had by shaking up the side on a regular basis.

He said: "It’s always nice to have a settled side, but I do think it’s important as well to have competition. I think Sir Alex Ferguson (former Manchester United manager) changed his team each time over 150 games, so if it’s good enough for him then it’s good enough for everyone else.

"We have good quality players at this club. I can change my team when I want to because the quality I have in the wings is very good."

Defender Scott Boyd and forwards Kevin Luckassen and Orhan Mustafi are all injury doubts for the trip to Fir Park, but Alex Cooper is expected to make a return.

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