Roy MacGregor admits Inverness move disbelief as Ross County chief questions hometown logic

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor admits he can't get his head around rivals Inverness’ decision to decant to Fife during the week.

Relegated Caley Thistle caused uproar in the Highlands last week when they revealed an agreement with League 1 opponents Kelty Hearts to use their facilities as a training base. They argue the move closer to the central belt will help attract players with their location becoming an obstacle to recruitment in recent years.

But MacGregor - who watched County secure Premiership safety on Sunday backed by a strong local support in Dingwall - reckons his club has connected with a new generation of fans in the local community. And can’t understand why Inverness would would want to jeopardise their local connection by moving their midweek business 135 miles away. He said: “We will not be going to Kelty! All I will say is that’s a challenge because I don’t understand football clubs who are not in their hometown. But that’s their business.

“We’ve seen what has happened with a new generation here, you saw it on Sunday. They are interested in a new era, which is great because that’s what football is all about.”

Meanwhile MacGregor wants Ross County to emulate Kilmarnock, St Mirren and Dundee next season by finishing in the top six. The Staggies supremo admits a second successive top flight survival through the play-offs isn’t good enough.

Three seasons ago Malky Mackay led the Dingwall men to a sixth-place finish. And MacGregor - who will sit down with Don Cowie this week to thrash out a deal to make the caretaker permanent manager - reckons it’s not unrealistic to target a repeat.

He said: “It was a traumatic season. It was great on Sunday but that’s twice we’ve been in 11th so we need to take stock and make sure we’re not in that position again.

“I said that last year and I thought this time we had enough in the cupboard to avoid it. But we finished 11th again and while it was great to get through the play-offs we need to take stock.

“I’m not being negative but we’ve not done what we’ve set out to do. We have to find a way of being 10th or better next season. You’ve seen what particularly Kilmarnock, St Mirren and Dundee have done this season.

“There are alliances with other clubs you can benefit from. These are the clubs you have to follow, not the top five or six. We have to find a way to do what they’ve done this season.”