Published: 31/08/2017 14:30 - Updated: 30/08/2017 10:07

Ross County paying the price for slack defending - boss Jim McIntyre

Written byPaul Chalk

This shot from Rangers’ Eduardo Herrera evades Ross County goalkeeper Scott Fox for a last-minute goal. 	JIM McIntyre reckons his Ross County side should be sitting with more than three points in the Ladbrokes Premiership so far.

The opening day 2-1 win at Dundee has been followed with defeats against Motherwell, Aberdeen and Rangers.

The 3-1 loss on Sunday against Pedro Caixinha’s side was a sore one to take.

County didn’t get going as Alfredo Moreles grabbed a first half double, the second of which came from him cashing in on a howler from goalkeeper Scott Fox.

Fox took control of a wayward Marcus Fraser back-pass, but then instead of clearing the ball was robbed by the Colombian, who tapped the ball into the net for a 2-0 interval advantage.

Davis Keillor-Dunn injected energy to the side when he came on for Ryan Dow, while first half sub Thomas Mikkelsen was lively.

And it was the Danish forward who gave County hope on 59 minutes when he headed home a cross from Craig Curran.

However, a swift and slick attack in the closing minutes ended with Eduardo Herrera netting a third to take the heat off the under-fire Blues, who moved back into the top half of the table.

County return to first-team action a week on Saturday when they host pointless Partick Thistle.

Manager McIntyre admits three points is a harsh tally given their performances, but insists they’ve paid the price for slackness at the back as well as up front.

He said: "We should be better off in terms of our points, but we have to put our chances in the back of the net. It’s as simple as that.

"We also have to defend better. Although Foxy’s (Scott Fox) mistake has been well highlighted, we had two crosses into our box against Rangers where we let their striker get away from us. That has to be much better.

"We need to tighten up in both boxes. There has been a lot of good stuff so far, but it is about winning games and we are fully aware of that.

"We have Partick next (a week on Saturday), which will be another really tough match, but we’ll be at home and we want to get back to winning ways."

McIntyre gave credit to striker Curran, whose terrific delivery was pounced upon by Mikkelsen’s terrific diving header to offer the hosts hope for a while against the Gers.

He explained: "Craig was one of the pick of the bunch against Rangers because he lacked support in the first half, which was clear to see, but he kept battling away and produced a moment of real quality for Thomas Mikkelsen to score. It was a great ball into the box.

"Craig worked extremely hard for the team, which he always does. He’s scored two (league) goals this season and that assist, so we want him to keep going in that fashion."

That goal, however, came after the shock of losing to Fox’s mistake and after a sloppy first half and McIntyre admits it was all too easy until the changes were made.

He stressed: "We were far better in the second half and we had to be. We never pressurised Rangers anywhere near like we planned and we were very guilty of giving the ball away, yet it was so good the week before against Motherwell. That allowed Rangers to dominate the game.

"We changed the system after 31 minutes (when Thomas Mikkelsen came on for Jamie Lindsay to partner Craig Curran in attack) because the system wasn’t working."

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