Football Expert & Columnist
SPFL clubs don't need lots of money to get success, says Andy Walker
Ross County host Dundee United in the SPFL this Sunday and Andy Walker has admiration for both.
Last Updated: 12/09/13 2:57pm
A convincing 3-0 win over St Mirren, followed by a draw at Easter Road against Hibs has put Derek Adams' men back on track to challenge once again for a place in the top half of the table.
Given their very modest resources and ordinary wages paid to their players; Ross County put clubs with far bigger budgets to shame last season with their consistency of results and finished comfortably ahead of 'bigger' teams such as Hibs, Hearts, Dundee Utd and Aberdeen.
Like all managers, Derek Adams has been forced to change the makeup of his squad with stalwarts such as Ian Vigurs and Paul Lawson moving to Motherwell.
In their place, he has recruited a number of young Dutch players with potential, together with all the experience of Scotland's top flight that Steven Saunders, Brian McLean and Graham Carey offer.
County's second season will prove to be more, difficult with the level of expectation much higher now and it'll be a tall order to match the consistency of results during this campaign.
Dundee Utd are used to losing big names, but seem to have a conveyor belt of talent who make the transition from youth team players to first team regulars a seamless one.
The backbone of their side that scraped through to make up the top half of the table on the last game before the split has been dismantled, with experienced players such as Willo Flood, Jon Daly, Barry Douglas and Johnny Russell all moving on to pastures new.
In their place, Jackie McNamara brought Paul Paton and Chris Erskine from his former club Partick Thistle, as well as Andrew Robertson and Aidan Connolly from amateur side Queens Park.
Robertson in particular has been excellent at left-back and doesn't look out of place at all in the top flight.
David Goodwillie has rejoined his former club after an unsuccessful time at Blackburn Rovers and on loan at Crystal Palace. Goodwillie has the potential to score regularly and force his way into Gordon Strachan's plans for Euro 2016, but has found it a struggle to be as effective as he was just two-years-ago. Given time and with the right attitude, he can become a regular scorer for Utd.
Boss Jackie McNamara will be the first to admire what type of side his men are up against on Sunday. He knows the days of overpaid players in Scotland's top flight are at an end and sensible recruitment such as Andrew Robertson is the way ahead.
Ross County, like their Highland neighbours Inverness Caley Thistle, have demonstrated to more than a few SPFL clubs that you can get value for money in the transfer market, as well as promoting from within your own youth set up and still get results.