Ross County v Rangers Match Info – Venue: Global Energy Stadium Date: Sunday, 8 March Kick-off: 12:00 GMT
Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson wasn’t nearly as agitated by his side’s 4-1 demolition at the hands of Motherwell as he perhaps might have been.
The Dingwall side had won just two of their previous 12 games, yet Ferguson seemed almost ambivalent about their eighth defeat in 13. “We were against a very good Motherwell team,” he said. “So we’ll need to take a good look at it and brush ourselves down.”
But with his side seen points off the bottom having played a game more, should Ferguson, co-manager Stuart Kettlewell, and County be more concerned about the threat of relegation?
"We spoke about belief this week. They believed in themselves and the result showed their character."— Motherwell FC (@MotherwellFC) March 4, 2020
Stephen Robinson reacts to Motherwell's win over Ross County. pic.twitter.com/5XRp1GruAa
Defensive woes or lies, damned lies?
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of County’s season so far is the manner in which they seem to concede unlike any of the teams around them.
Despite sitting ninth in the Premiership, they have the worst defensive record in the division – shipping 59 goals in 29 league games. That is nine more than the second worst record – held by Hamilton Academical and Hearts – and works out at an average of around two per match.
Winning the winnable games
Their solid defence has had a notable impact on the amount of points County have harvested against their bottom half rivals. Indeed, it also goes some way to explaining why the Highland side have managed to hover in ninth place or above for much of the campaign.
In their 17 games against top-half sides, County have won on average 0.8 points per game. Against bottom half opponents, that shoots up by 63% to 1.3 points. Although it may not seem like much, that return is significantly more than Hearts’ average of 0.69 points against bottom six sides.
Such small margins can have big impacts over the course of a season and could become even more important after the split when the bottom six go head-to-head to see who can avoid the drop.
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