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Ali McCann looking to maintain momentum against Ross County

Ali McCann wants to round off a positive year by helping St Johnstone to a win against Ross County on Sunday.

The midfielder grabbed his first Saints goal on Boxing Day to seal a 1-0 win over Hamilton which extended the Perth side’s unbeaten run to four games and took them to ninth in the Ladbrokes Premiership table.

It was another step in the right direction for McCann who, after a loan spell at Stranraer earlier in the year, broke into Tommy Wright’s side while also becoming part of the Northern Ireland under-21 set-up.

Earlier in the month, the 20-year-old signed a new three-and-a-half-year-deal with the Perth club and he told Saints TV that a victory over the Staggies at McDiarmid Park would be a fine way to see out 2019.

“I am buzzing to be fair,” he said.

“That goal has been nagging at me for a while but I’m just glad it came and glad about three points as well.

“We just need to keep our head down, keep solid at the back and keep picking up points.

“We’re sitting in ninth and if we get a good result on Sunday it will get us further up and we will keep taking it game by game.”

McCann admits the Hamilton game was no classic but revealed Saints’ new-found solidity in defence always offered grounds for optimism.

He said: “It wasn’t a great game to be honest but both teams are sort of just feeling their way into it and then eventually I managed to get on the end of the cross.

“There was only really going to be one goal, probably, in the game and I’m just delighted it fell to me.

“I was screaming for Cal (Callum Hendry) to cut it back and luckily he put it on a plate for me and all I had to do was get decent contact.

“It was my first goal but hopefully I can get some more.

“There wasn’t nerves because we have been keeping clean sheets, that’s four in a row, so we have been defending well.

“We just know that if we got a chance we had to take it and then be solid at the back.”