Ross County: Jim McIntyre targets signings as three exit

Jim McIntyre and his assistant Billy Dodds moved to the Staggies after Derek Adams was sacked
Jim McIntyre and his assistant Billy Dodds, left, moved to the Staggies after Derek Adams was sacked

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre has released three defenders signed in the summer but expects to bolster his squad during the January transfer window.

The former Queen of the South boss, who took charge in September, has made room for new faces, with Uros Celcer, Jordi Balk and Timothy Dreesen released.

McIntyre told BBC Scotland: "Any manager is always looking at his squad and potential signings.

"The chairman's been great in backing me and I'm sure that will continue."

Former AFC Wimbledon defender Jim Fenlon, whose deal ends in January, has also been told he can leave the Dingwall club.

Jordi Balk
Jordi Balk, left, is one of three players to leave Ross County after signing in the summer

Like 27-year-old Belgian Tim Dreesen, 25-year-old Slovenian Uros Celcer and 20-year-old Dutchman Jordi Balk, the 20-year-old Englishman was signed by previous manager Derek Adams.

The Scottish Premiership club say the departing trio had "terminated their contracts by mutual agreement", while McIntyre thanked them for their "professional attitude".

County went into the current international break fresh from a 3-0 Premiership win away to Kilmarnock.

It was only their second victory of the season in the league, leaving them still at the foot of the table but level with second-bottom St Mirren on eight points.

The Highlanders had no points when McIntyre replaced the sacked Adams.

"That was the goal when we came here, to try to get back to the nearest team as quickly as possible, and we've managed to do that," said McIntyre.

"Confidence-wise, it gives you a huge shot in the arm when you score three goals and keep a clean sheet, but it's only one performance and it's just a small step.

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre
"If you don't enjoy your work you're not going to turn up on a Saturday and produce, so it's about making sure they're in an environment that they enjoy coming to and learning."

"The mood has been very good, they're encouraged to express themselves every day and make the training ground a happy place.

"That was the first thing we did when we came in, making sure the boys enjoy what they're doing.

"If you don't enjoy your work, you're not going to turn up on a Saturday and produce, so it's about making sure they're in an environment that they enjoy coming to and learning."

McIntyre admits it would have been good to play another game quickly to try to build on momentum, but he is relishing Scotland's Euro 2016 qualifier against Ireland on Friday night.

"Any time you have a positive result, you want a game the following weekend, but, personally, I'm really looking forward to watching Scotland," he added.

"The team's being doing great and it's been a good start to the campaign. It will be very tight, the players know each other really well, but I'm hopeful we'll get the right result."

Celcer, previously with Serie A outfit Parma, was sent off in his sixth and final game on 30 August.

Dreesen, who left Fortuna Sittard in the summer, made four appearances but has been injured in recent weeks.

Balk, previously of Utrecht, turned out five times for the side sitting bottom of the Scottish Premiership, while Fenlon has made six appearances.

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