Nightingale: Ross County head into play-off with ‘loads of confidence’

The Staggies face a Premiership play-off for the second consecutive season.

Will Nightingale: Ross County head into play-off with ‘loads of confidence’ SNS Group

Will Nightingale is adamant Ross County will go into their play-off showdown against Raith Rovers with “loads of confidence” despite the agony of slipping into the relegation zone on the final day of the season.

The Staggies went into the last match of the season in 10th place, a position that would have ensured their top-flight survival, but they were leapfrogged by St Johnstone on Sunday after being held to a 2-2 draw at home to 10-man Aberdeen.

Despite that disappointment, defender Nightingale feels his side – who have won four and drawn four of their last 13 matches under interim boss Don Cowie – are in good enough form to feel positive about their two-legged play-off with Championship promotion hopefuls Raith.

“I think we can go into it with loads of confidence,” the on-loan Wimbledon defender said ahead of Thursday’s first leg at Stark’s Park.

“I think the gaffer’s given the fans here lots of highs in recent times and on the whole, the squad is in a great place. It’s just about believing in ourselves and bringing our best.

“I’ll be honest, the other day obviously I felt very disappointed. But that was then and this is now. Now I feel positive and ready to embrace the challenge. I’m looking forward to it.

“On any day we believe we can match anyone, and I think we’ve shown that at times but obviously the biggest issue has been consistency.

“At the minute our season has two games to go and they are the biggest games of our season. I have every faith in the team to deal with it.”

Nightingale is delighted to be in a position to help County in their fight for survival after it was initially feared that a hamstring injury sustained in February might prematurely end his season.

The 28-year-old worked “tirelessly” to get himself back for the closing four matches of the regulation campaign.

“During my rehab, I was always working to get back in time for the end of the season,” he said. “I was lucky enough to get back down the road and do my rehab at Wimbledon so I’m very grateful to them and to the staff here for allowing me to do that because it gave me the chance to be with my family.

“I was always itching to come back before the end of the season. I was working tirelessly and I might have rushed it a bit.

“Ideally I could have had an extra two or three weeks but this club has been very good to me and I’ll be doing everything I can to repay how good they have been to me over the next few days.

“It could have been easy for me to stay down the road, say I’m not ready and just finish early. I could be off now with my friends and family but my aim was always to do as well as I can for this club, and I’m looking to finish on a high.”

County have Michee Efete back in contention after he missed the Aberdeen game so Scott Allardice and Max Sheaf are the only absentees.

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