Ross County V Hamilton at Victoria Park : Match Preview

15 May 2017

Jim McIntyre targets seventh spot as Ross County prepare to host Hamilton

Jim McIntyre is confident he will not be left counting the cost of a lack of focus when Ross County take on Hamilton on Tuesday night.

The Staggies clinched their Ladbrokes Premiership safety on Saturday when they claimed a point away at Dundee.

They are now able to breathe easily as they see out the campaign with the visit of Accies and Saturday's curtain-closer at Kilmarnock.

But McIntyre does not want his men downing tools as he targets finishing top of the bottom six.

County could yet finish anywhere from seventh place down to 10th - and with the difference in prize money between those best and worse-case scenarios working out at B#158,250 the Dingwall boss is understandably keen to cash in on their remaining two games.

He told Press Association Sport: "We still want to finish the season strong. Of course it's nice that we are no longer looking for points to make sure we avoid the play-off.

"But the focus has still got to be on making sure we finish as best of the rest.

"The prize money aspect of it also comes into it as well. There's around an additional B#50,000 per place at stake in the bottom six so that's the difference between a player or two depending on where you finish.

"All the clubs will be having that same thought. If we can finish higher up then there's obviously the chance to improve your squad further."

County could do relegation-threatened Highland rivals Inverness a favour by beating Martin Canning's side.

But McIntyre said: "We just want to concentrate on ourselves and try to win the game.

"We know it's going to be really tough. Hamilton have always provided a hard opposition for us and it will be no different tomorrow night.

"Hopefully we can put on a performance which allows us to claim the three points and go that bit closer to seventh spot."

Canning is hoping a moment of magic from David Templeton can help save Hamilton's season.

The former Rangers and Hearts winger signed a short-term deal for Accies near the end of March after a lengthy spell out through injury.

Templeton came on with six minutes remaining against Motherwell at the SuperSeal Stadium on Saturday to make his debut in his first appearance since August 2015.

The 28-year-old showed flashes of his talent, coming close to a goal with a deflected strike, but the 1-0 defeat left Hamilton in the relegation play-off spot.

Canning's side, who finish the campaign with a home game against Dundee on Saturday, are three points behind Motherwell and six above bottom side Inverness but he believes Templeton might be able to help their cause.

"If we can get something out of the next two games that would be great," said the Hamilton boss.

"That was the plan, that we would get something in one of the games.

"He has been here for the last four or five weeks and is improved every week in terms of his fitness.

"He has that bit of quality.

"He is still a good bit off it in terms of match sharpness and match fitness but you know at that stage of the game, when you are on top, he won't have much running to do and he has the quality to make something happen.

"I said that when I brought him in, if it is one moment, one goal, one cross, one assist that keeps us in the league then it could be important.

"If that can pay off that would be great."