St Johnstone 1-1 Ross County: McIntyre praises 'exceptional' work-rate

Ross County's Jackson Irvine (right) battles for the ball with St Johnstone's Chris Kane (left)
County's efforts came just three days after the high of winning the League Cup final

Ross County boss Jim McIntyre hailed the "exceptional" work ethic of his side after they recovered from their Scottish League Cup final heroics to salvage a point at St Johnstone.

David Wotherspoon gave Saints an early lead but Brian Graham's penalty ensured the sides remain joint fourth.

"They were fantastic, especially after going behind," McIntyre said. "That tests your mettle after such a high.

"You can feel sorry for yourselves but the work-rate was exceptional."

McIntyre singled out forward Michael Gardyne, who scored the opening goal in County's 2-1 victory over Hibs at Hampden, for special praise.

"I thought Michael was exceptional again," he told BBC Scotland. "He was running on empty towards the end, after the special game he had on Sunday, but it was another big game from him tonight.

"When one player was struggling, boys were sprinting 30-40 yards to help a team-mate. We dug in when we had to.

"We had a lot of tired legs out there, so it will just be about recovery now before Saturday. The derby [County play Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Dingwall] will take care of itself."

St Johnstone assistant coach Callum Davidson makes a point to his side
Callum Davidson felt his side lacked quality in their finishing

Saints assistant coach Callum Davidson, taking charge of the side with manager Tommy Wright absent with a stomach bug, felt his side missed an opportunity to put the game beyond County.

"Unfortunately Tommy had to keep up with the game via text, which can't have been easy," Davidson said.

"After going 1-0 up, we are a bit disappointed we didn't hold on to get three points. It was a decent performance but we gave the referee the chance to give a penalty. That allowed them back into the game and gave them something to hold onto.

"It was a big game for both of us tonight - you could see that in the attitude of the Ross County players.

"I thought our players were great in the first half but the substitutes helped them get a bit more control.

"We had chances in the second half to kill the game off but their keeper made some great saves. We were just missing that bit of quality, but if we keep getting into those positions, we will get there."

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic29206372234966
2Aberdeen30205551321965
3Hearts29168551262556
4Ross County30124144547-240
5St Johnstone30117124547-240
6Motherwell30115143645-938
7Dundee2981294043-336
8Partick Thistle2997132937-834
9Inverness CT2989123441-733
10Hamilton3089133349-1633
11Kilmarnock3077163053-2328
12Dundee Utd2955193053-2320
View full Scottish Premiership table

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