Ross County: Roy MacGregor sets sights on another successful season

Ross County lost their Premiership opener at home to Dundee
Ross County lost their Premiership opener at home to Dundee

Chairman Roy MacGregor's reflections on Ross County's early League Cup exit shines a light on how the club has progressed.

After picking up their first piece of major silverware last season, the Staggies exited at the group stage in the revamped format.

"What did we do wrong? Have we got enough talent? Have we got enough desire? Have we got enough passion?"

These are the questions MacGregor asked and shared with BBC Scotland.

"Examine all these things and have that out with management and the players and just see if that desire to take Ross County further is still there," he added.

"If you lose that you are on the slippery slope."

The Dingwall side finished sixth in the top flight to cap a wonderful last campaign but MacGregor is worried standards had dropped as expectations were raised among supporters and in the boardroom.

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor
MacGregor celebrates the club's first major silverware last season

"In the last four or five months, if we had that form over the season we would have been relegated," he said.

"There was something that wasn't quite right there. Were we taking that into this season? Were we being complacent?

"I do believe that you learn more in adversity than you learn in the good times. We might look back on it and say we learnt more from that than if we'd got further in the cup.

"We went beyond our goals last year. That gives us an extra challenge this year because when you've been successful you have to work harder to be successful again.

"It is marginal gains now that will actually make us better; the big things have been done."

The club is now debt free and MacGregor has prioritised how it interacts with the community and supporters.

"If you go to the clubs that really touch their base, if you go to Barcelona and you see what happens seven days a week, their relationship with their fans is really important," he said. "It's the same at Man City. It's more than a football club.

"You're seeing it as the top clubs reach out in China, the United States and India.

"In a small community club in the Highlands to touch fans and give them that sense of belonging is really important.

"Loyalty and season ticket loyalty particularly has been with an older generation. The younger generation are very much pay as you go. They have choices. That relationship of how the fan feels about the club is really important seven days a week not just 20 days a year when we play football.

"We care about them. We care about their job, we care about their health, and we care about their kids. The stronger we make that bond, the more successful this football club will be."

So, how do Ross County, who were playing in the Highland League in 1994, follow last season's achievements?

"Real success for us would be a top six position and to do well in the Scottish Cup," said MacGregor. "The minimum that we demand is to stay in the league.

"There are a number of us in this league that will feel a challenge with that. There's four city clubs, Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts that should be in the top six. There's another eight clubs that are fighting not to land in the bottom two.

"Normally you finish in the position where your revenue gets you the best players. Anyone who gets better than that has been successful."

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