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Malky Mackay urges Ross County to use home advantage in bid for European spot

Ross County have an impressive recent record at the Global Energy Stadium (Malcolm Mackenzie/PA)
Ross County have an impressive recent record at the Global Energy Stadium (Malcolm Mackenzie/PA)

Ross County manager Malky Mackay aims to capitalise on home advantage as the Staggies battle for a European spot.

County were handed three post-split home games after qualifying for the top six, with Celtic visiting Dingwall on Sunday and Mackay’s side also hosting Motherwell and Dundee United, the two other teams vying for two places in the Europa Conference League qualifiers.

Only a point separates the three teams with United in fourth but County’s fixture schedule could give them an edge over Well, who have three away trips.

Celtic were the last visiting team to win at the Global Energy Stadium, courtesy of Anthony Ralston’s goal in the sixth minute of stoppage-time on December 15, and that was the only defeat in County’s last 11 home matches.

Mackay said: “When we saw how it fell with the top six, the games we have got are the games we should have. I know that doesn’t always happen, sometimes through circumstance it doesn’t work like that.

“It’s terrific we have one defeat in 10 or 11 at home and the fact that there’s a lot of confidence taken from how we are playing here.

“We have three home games but Celtic and Rangers have clearly got something massive to play for, Hearts players are going to be playing for their cup final place and again it’s clear what Motherwell, Dundee United and ourselves are playing for.

“There’s not really a dead rubber in any of these five games for any of these teams.

“I saw Iain Blair, the ex-SPFL secretary, speak this week about 20 years of the split and how seven teams were going for three places in the top six on that last day and how exciting that was.

“There’s not too many dead games even in the bottom six so it is bringing excitement right to the end of the season, which is what a league should try and do.”