Ross County's promotion 'great for Highlands' - Roy MacGregor

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Brian Graham
Brian Graham scored a hat-trick in Ross County's 3-1 win at Ayr on Friday

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor says it is "great for the Highlands" that the Dingwall side have all but secured a return to the Scottish Premiership.

County's 3-1 win at Ayr United means they have a six-point lead over Dundee United at the top of the Championship with only two games left.

The Staggies' goal difference is better by 18 goals.

"We got everyone focused on what we needed to do, and we have a management team who delivered," MacGregor said.

"I'm absolutely delighted. That was our objective at the start of the year."

Inverness Caledonian Thistle are guaranteed a top-four finish in the Championship and so will compete in the play-offs to also return to the top flight.

"Both clubs made a journey 25 years ago from the Third Division to the Premier League - won cups and Inverness got into Europe," MacGregor said.

"Both clubs were on a journey then all of a sudden the journey stopped. It's a different journey over the next 25 years. It's really significant that we've bounced back in one year."

MacGregor praised the contribution of co-managers Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson, who were appointed in April 2018 despite his initial doubts about a managerial partnership.

The pair were unable to prevent Ross County being relegated from the Premiership last season, but have now enjoyed success in their first full season in charge.

"I wasn't an advocate of co-managers, but this has worked and I have to eat my words," added MacGregor.

"They have dovetailed absolutely tremendously well and it was their passion, desire and commitment that brought it home for the club.

"This year more than anything we've had significant injuries to key players so it has been a team effort. The whole 20 players that were involved get great credit for the spirit and desire they've shown."

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