Highlights - Arsenal 0-0 Villarreal (Agg 2-1)May 6
Steven Ferguson staying level-headed despite Ross County’s winning start
Ross County beat Hamilton 3-0 to get their campaign off to a flying start.
Ross County co-manager Steven Ferguson admitted he was wary about the distraction of the pre-match ceremonies ahead of their Ladbrokes Premiership return.
County unfurled the Championship flag and also paraded some of the players who played in their first league game 25 years ago.
But Ferguson’s only concern was his team’s result and performance and they delivered as they beat Hamilton 3-0 to get their campaign off to a flying start.
Ferguson said: “We spoke during the week about not getting too carried away with the flag. That’s done, it’s in the past. It’s nice, of course it is, and nice to see the guys that played when we first entered the league
“But for Stuart (Kettlewell) and I it’s only nice if we won the game.”
County made their first-half pressure count when Joe Chalmers curled home on the half-hour mark. Billy McKay exploited a gift to double the lead before the break and Ross Stewart’s free header killed the game off inside 57 minutes.
Ferguson said: “We are not getting carried away. Throughout the season there are hopefully going to be highs and you can guarantee there are going to be lows. We just need to be level-headed.
“We believe in the group of players and that was shown in pre-season, there were no wholesale changes. We believe we have a good group of players, there are no superstars, everyone is on a level and they want to do the best for the club.
“We joked last week when we talked about having to pick a team for this game, that there would be boys rightly extremely disappointed that they weren’t in the team because they didn’t do a heck of a lot wrong.
“We felt there were 16, 17, 18 players who had a real fighting chance of starting the game.
“We went with the team we went with and the result and performance probably showed we got it right. We will work with the group again and look forward to Hearts next week.”
Accies head coach Brian Rice felt his side lacked urgency and hunger and admitted the warning signs were there inside the first minute when Ciaran McKenna handled on the edge of his box.
“It’s the first game of the season, you look forward to it from when the fixtures come out,” Rice said. “You get prepared and first thing you do is put a shift in, make sure the other team doesn’t play. Be competitive, match your opponent.
“In the first 45 seconds we got a player booked and gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box. It gave Ross County encouragement, the way we started the game.”