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Malky Mackay takes belief from Ross County fightback

Celtic v Ross County – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Ross County manager Malky Mackay felt his players’ faith in their methods was evident as they fought back from a man down and a goal down to take a point from Dundee United.

County trailed to Louis Appere’s 49th-minute goal when Harry Clarke was sent off with 15 minutes left.

But the home side fought back for a well-deserved point when Jack Baldwin got the final touch to force home the equaliser following a stoppage-time free-kick from Joseph Hungbo.

“It shows resilience and I think it also shows belief in the way they are playing,” Mackay told RCFCTV.

“Despite being a goal down they were playing in a fashion that was not hurried, wasn’t panicking, and was trying to probe and find opportunities and play in a pattern.

“And I think the fans saw that. There is a great band of brothers in the Jail End, a young group of the Staggies Army.

“I was delighted that it happened at that end and the players went over to them because they are creating a great atmosphere for the club and I want to make sure they see exciting football, they see chances, and they see a team that is willing to run hard for the Staggies jersey.”

Mackay claimed Clarke was unfortunate to receive a second yellow card from referee Greg Aitken following an aerial challenge that left Florent Hoti on the ground holding the back of his neck.

“It was definitely a harsh decision,” Mackay said. “Harry is a clever lad, a good player and a good defender.

“I thought the second booking was incredibly harsh. It was a foul and nothing more. There was no injury.

“The ref at that point I don’t think was even going to pull out the second yellow. It wasn’t until three or four surrounded him that all of a sudden he started thinking something different.

“It was a strange decision and I am disappointed with that.”

United missed the chance to leapfrog Celtic on Saturday night.

Manager Tam Courts had some positives to take including Appere’s first goal of the season.

Courts told DUTV: “It’s great to see him getting a goal, a real reward for his hard work. It was a bit of a lone furrow for him up there but I thought he backed his corner really well.”

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