Hibernian boss Jack Ross will take no notice of Ross County’s perceived cinch Premiership chances this season as he prepares to welcome the Staggies to Easter Road on Sunday.
The Dingwall club finished 10th last season after securing their top-flight status on the last day.
Former Watford and Cardiff manager Malky Mackay took over as Staggies boss in the summer and he is working hard to revamp his squad; with Canadian youth international Ben Paton, Australia Under-23 goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer and Scotland Under-21 midfielder Jack Burroughs joining on Friday.
Many pundits have tipped the Dingwall club, who started their league season with a goalless draw against St Johnstone last week, to struggle again.
However, Ross, who will look to re-energise his squad after Thursday night’s 1-1 draw with Rijeka in the first leg of their Europa Conference League third qualifier at Easter Road, said: “I never pay too much attention to it because somebody has to be tipped to win things and lose things.
“I don’t think it matters very much over the course of the season.
“Malky is someone I know quite well and his experience in the game is terrific, and what he has achieved in the game is terrific so I look forward to seeing him on Sunday.
“I spoke briefly to him when he took the job and I think he is still trying to put his own stamp on the job given his comments in the aftermath of the weekend’s game about new recruits etc.
“So I’m looking forward to the challenge of it but in terms of how we prepare for Sunday, no thoughts given to predictions in that sense.
“I have looked a little bit at them but that really begins now for me.
“You appreciate how close (together) the games have been and how much work we had to put in for Thursday tonight.
“But we have a good department that supports me in that sense so from Friday morning everything I do is geared up for that and we don’t have a lot of time on the pitch to prepare.
“But we will be clear and concise and the good thing is our players are playing well, we are moving the ball and creating opportunities so we look to continue that into Sunday.”