Ross County midfielder Michael Gardyne insists the Staggies are heading in the right direction after outplaying Hearts at Tynecastle in Saturday’s goalless draw.
The Ladbrokes Premiership newcomers were on the front foot for most of the game but failed to make their dominance count after creating a series of chances.
The best of those came in the 83rd minute when referee Alan Muir pointed to the spot for Aidy White’s clumsy foul on Marcus Fraser, only for Brian Graham to hit the post with his penalty.
The likes of Josh Mullin, Gardyne and Ross Stewart also failed to find a way past Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal from good positions.
Following on from the 3-0 victory over Hamilton on the opening day of the league season and a flawless Betfred Cup group campaign, the experienced Gardyne is optimistic about the future.
He said: “It’s early doors but we’re brimming with confidence just now, we won our Betfred Cup games, won the first game of the season and we could have got a result here.
“We’ve got our own in-house targets and what we think we can achieve. We’ve just come up, people would say the top five picks itself and that there’s maybe one spot up for grabs in the top six and everyone will be fighting for that.
“It’s that old cliche, one game at a time and it’s standing us in good stead at the moment.
He added: “We’re gutted we didn’t get the win on Saturday.
“We felt comfortable and we had a good shape when Hearts had the ball and limited them to going wide and going long.
“It’s good because people probably expected us to play one up top.
“To play the way we did last week was nice and sometimes when you go away you need to have a go, you can’t just sit in.”
Aside from two Conor Washington efforts that were repelled by Staggies goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw, the hosts failed to get going.
Hearts left-back White and midfielder Loic Damour both made their debuts, making their first competitive outings since January 2017 and 2019 respectively.
White had been plagued by injury after playing his last game for Barnsley and produced an encouraging display, despite giving away the penalty.
Hearts boss Craig Levein is relieved the spot-kick did not come back to haunt the 27-year-old.
He said: “He’s been off for two-and-a-half years but he showed some good things.
“It would have been a real shame for him for his mistake to have been the difference in the match.
“But he’ll be pleased he’s back after such a long time, so all credit to him.”
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