Ross County V St Johnstone at Victoria Park : Match Preview

17 February 2017
Ross County V St Johnstone - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Jason Naismith focused on future following Ross County cup exit

Ross County defender Jason Naismith insists their season is just hotting up despite their cup exit.

Last season's League Cup winners went out of the William Hill Scottish Cup thanks to a 1-0 home defeat to Aberdeen last weekend.

But they have plenty to play for with a Ladbrokes Premiership top-six place up for grabs and the freedom from the anxiety of the relegation fight that comes with it.

"The gaffer made us aware of how important the games are coming up," said former St Mirren full-back Naismith, who returns for the visit of St Johnstone after being cup-tied against Aberdeen.

"It's like a nine-game season coming up.

"It's always disappointing going out of the cup. The boys did so well in the League Cup last season and there was a chance this year in the Scottish Cup.

"Aberdeen are a good side and probably deserved to win but there was no lack of effort from the boys.

"But we need to look forward. The league is the bread and butter, the most important thing, and we need to get on with that."

Brian Easton admits St Johnstone's players are surprised to still have "terrific" Tommy Wright as boss.

The Northern Irishman is one of the names being linked with the vacant manager's job at Rangers.

Wright guided Saints to their first Scottish Cup title in 2014 and has secured top-six finishes in the Premiership in the three seasons he has been in charge.

The Perth side are sitting in fifth place this term and looking good for another top-half finish with a 10-point gap to seventh-placed Dundee.

And ahead of the trip to Dingwall, left-back Easton revealed the players' admiration for Wright.

The 28-year-old told Press Association Sport: "We joke about it and when his name comes up for a job somewhere, we say 'he's away to sign the papers'.

"Everyone knows he is a terrific manager.

"Most of the boys are surprised that he has not been snatched up by a bigger club.

"He is good, you can have a bit of banter with him as well.

"A few of the boys will give him a wee bit of stick about it but he takes it in his stride.

"It doesn't surprise me when his name comes up for these jobs but the boys will be hoping he sticks around."