HE was once labelled as Notts County's answer to Nicolas Anelka, stealing the headlines when life in England's League One got off to an explosive start as the club's top goalscorer.

His form tailed off, though, and friction after the arrival of new manager Shaun Derry meant he became more like the club's answer to, well, Nicolas Anelka.

Yoann Arquin and the West Bromwich Albion striker both hail from Le Havre in France - though Arquin would represent Martinique internationally - and Ross County will hope that they have acquired the more productive, less stroppy, iteration of the player. But Arquin's self-belief, at least, was evident as he prepared for his Ross County debut today against Dundee United.

Loading article content

"Anelka is a good player and I think I am a good player as well," he said. "Maybe people think I am similar in style to him. I have signed here for one year through to next January. I am happy. Ross County is a good club.

"They have good fans, a good team and a good manager. I have already trained here for one week and I can see the players are of a good standard. I think we can stay in the Premiership. That is the objective for the season - to stay up.

"It was difficult for me at Notts County, not playing, and I'm just glad that is behind me now. Last season, I was the club's top scorer with nine goals but this season I was training with the reserves.

"I didn't play for the reserves, but I was told to train with them. I was not happy with the situation at all, but it is finished now. It is very hard when you are not playing and I want to change that at Ross County. I don't know why my previous manager didn't want to play me, but it is a brand new start here."

His new manager, Derek Adams, admitted he had expected to see Ryan Gauld restored to United's line-up, only to learn he was jetting off for a sunshine break. But Adams insisted he would be wary of United's threat no matter who features. "They have good attacking options and good strength in depth in their team," he said. "They have been very exciting to watch at times this season.

"But we have good players, players capable of causing Dundee United problems. We have strengthened the team in January and we are unbeaten in the first three games of the new year - and we want to continue that."

His opposite number, Jackie McNamara, defended that decision to send Gauld and team-mate John Souttar for a week of rest and relaxation.

He said he felt the young pair needed some sun on their backs after a sizzling first half of the season and reckons being in more colourful climes can help his bright kids in the long-run. "These aren't your average young players," he said.

"They're very young. They've played more games than they have for the under-20s and, having played right through the summer with Scotland under-19s, we felt it was the time to give them a rest.

"I see them in training and they were a bit tired so we're looking after them in case they get any other problems. We've still got a lot of games to play and we're just looking after them. They've gone somewhere where there is sun.

"They'll be back next Wednesday. I'm not worried about fitness, I just want them to relax a bit and get ready to come back in and start again."