Ross County boss aims to match St Johnstone consistency

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland
County and St Johnstone drew 1-1 in Perth earlier this season
County and St Johnstone drew 1-1 in Perth earlier this season

Ross County boss Jim McIntyre is striving to emulate weekend opponents St Johnstone, saying the Perth side are a template for other Premiership sides.

"You would regard St Johnstone as a model of consistency over the last four or five years," McIntyre told BBC Scotland.

"They are a team that teams like ourselves have got to look at.

"They're a similar size club but they've managed to show that they can finish regularly in the top six."

St Johnstone's sequence of five wins in a row came to end with Friday's 1-1 draw at home to Dundee, which leaves them six points ahead of County.

"They're involved in cup runs continuously and they've got a level of player there that show that consistent level of performance," McIntyre added. "They deserve great credit.

"They have players who bring it to the table more often than not and that's how you gain success in my eyes.

"You've got to make sure that you've got that seven out of 10 and St Johnstone have a lot of players who are seven out of 10s. That's why they win games and they do well and they finish high up the league."

St Johnstone over the last five seasons
2014-15: League pos: 4th, Scottish Cup fifth round, League Cup quarter-finals
2013-14: League pos: 6th, Scottish Cup winners, League Cup semi-finals
2012-13: League pos: 3rd, Scottish Cup fifth round, League Cup quarter-finals
2011-12: League pos: 6th, Scottish Cup fifth round, League Cup third round
2010-11: League pos: 8th, Scottish Cup semi-final, League Cup quarter-finals

County have lost four of their last five league games but remain in the top half of the Premiership.

And McIntyre insists over the term of his stewardship there has been significant progress at the Dingwall club.

"Sometimes you've got to strip it back and remember how far we've come in a year," he said.

"We've been in the top six since day one this season. We're in a cup semi-final.

"It's important that we don't rest on our laurels; we make sure that we keep trying to improve and strive to get better.

"I feel with the group of players we've got there is more to come. That's the challenge going into December and the rest of the season.

"We've got to try and get back to being more consistent in terms of our results, in terms of our overall performance levels and our quality when we get into key areas."

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre
McIntyre took over at Victoria Park in September 2014

The Dingwall side face a run of five games in December that will go a long way to defining their season, with fixtures against teams around and below them.

The importance of putting a run of victories together is not lost on the former Queen of the South and Dunfermline manager.

"That's huge, you can see it with Partick recently and Kilmarnock before that when they put three wins together," he explained.

"That's what it takes to move you up the league. We are more than capable of doing that. We showed earlier on in the season when we went seven games unbeaten that we've got that in our locker."