County cup win for MacGregor

Jim McIntyre, Andrew Davies, Roy MacGregor

Jim McIntyre (left) celebrates with Andrew Davies and Roy MacGregor (right)

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre paid tribute to the club’s chairman Roy MacGregor after leading the Staggies to their first major trophy.

Alex Schalk’s last-minute goal gave County a 2-1 victory over Hibernian in the League Cup final at Hampden.

“He really deserves it. He’s put Dingwall on the map and he’s been absolutely fantastic for this club. He is Mr Ross County,” McIntyre said.

“For us to be able to give him a bit of silverware is so pleasing.”

McIntyre concedes his players rode their luck at times, but believes they are fully deserving of their winners medals.

“We’ve taken our chances when it counts,” he noted. “These games are all about winning.

“Nobody ever remembers the losers. That was my message to the players.”

It was a momentous day in the history of the Highlands outfit, who have finished fifth, seventh and ninth since promotion to the Premiership in 2012, and currently lie fourth in the table with nine games left.

MacGregor says he hopes County’s achievement will spur other smaller clubs in Scotland on to greater things.

“I’m really proud for everyone and delighted for these fans,” said the chairman. “Absolutely incredible. We’ve been on a journey together and this is not the end of the journey. We look forward to the next chapter.


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Highlights: Hibernian 1-2 Ross County

“We’ve just got to battle on and see if we can come in the top six of the league. It will be a milestone for the club if we can do that.

“We’re a community club and hopefully that gives encouragement to all the community clubs in Scotland.”

Match-winner Schalk, 23, says the cup win is just reward for a squad who “go through hell” together.

“We fought so hard today,” said the Dutchman, who joined the club last October. “They’re a great side Hibs, and played fantastic. Second half, we fought for each other.

“The whole season with his squad, we go through hell for each other. The 90th-minute goal couldn’t be better for me though.

“It was a fantastic counter-attack. I am where I’m supposed to be as a striker. Tap-in, 2-1, cup-winners.”

County assistant manager Billy Dodds was pleased at how well the team recovered after a nervy opening to the match.

“Hibs were the better team first half. I thought we froze a little bit. It was an eachy-peachy second half, could have gone either way.

“I thought we stuck in, worked hard and we got the break.

“I’m just delighted. I would have hated this bunch of lads to go on and lose this. I don’t know what would’ve happened.”


Ross County players celebrate their League Cup final victory over Hibs

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