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County add further ballast in effort to stabilise their season

Ross County have found that the second half of the season looks more promising when viewed through the January transfer window.

The club have been on their haunches in the SPFL Premiership's relegation play-off place but are being helped to their feet again by a number of additions this month, with County yesterday re-signing defender Evangelos Oikonomou and bringing in Michael Tidser on loan from Rotherham United until the end of the season.

The midfielder - who follows Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Slew by making a temporary move to Dingwall - has been unable to secure a regular place with the Sky Bet League 1 side since moving from Morton in the summer and has been allowed to return north in search of games. Each of those signings could populate the County team in a match with St Johnstone this afternoon.

It is a side which has perhaps needed a bit more life added to it, not least to help maintain the momentum following a Highland derby win earlier this week. Alex Cooper, the County winger, scored his first senior goal for the club in that victory and was suitably emboldened ahead of the club's next fixture.

"I got an injury in the first week of the season to my foot, which escalated and dragged on longer than maybe it should," said the 22-year-old, whose club have allowed striker Orhan Mustafi to return to parent club Grasshoppers Zurich following an inauspicious spell on loan. "It turned out to be swelling between the bones. The physio said he had never seen anything like it, but I saw a specialist and he sorted it out.

"I just want to do as well as I can now and kick on. It's in my hands, hopefully I can do well enough to stay in the team. I was patient and kept training away and got myself as fit as I could to take my chance, and I just want to take my chance whenever I get it."

It is a familiar refrain for young players intent on making their way in the game and one which would resonate with St Johnstone's Scott Brown and Michael O'Halloran. The striker yesterday signed an 18-month contract with the Perth club after ending a spell with Bolton and follows midfielder Brown in alighting at McDiarmid Park after a spell in English football.

The 19-year-old signed for St Johnstone in the summer but would not make his first start until this week - a 4-0 defeat by Motherwell. It might seem a chastening experience, although the former Bradford City youngster is aware the alternative would have been not have been any more comfortable.

"I got offered a new contract [at Bradford] but they said I would be fifth choice," said Brown. "There was not really much point in staying if you are not in the [first-team] squad every week."

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