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Perspective plays a poignant part in Butcher's preparations

Terry Butcher will bid to get his Hibernian players in the right frame of mind for today's trip to Ross County as they mourn David Paul.

The 18-year-old - a member of the club's under-20 squad - died in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning. Hours later, Jamie Skinner - a 13-year-old who had just been released by Hearts - collapsed and died during a game for Tynecastle Boys' Club. Their deaths have brought the fragility of life to the fore but Butcher hopes his team, which have scored one goal in their last seven league games, can honour the memory of Paul with victory at the Global Energy Stadium.

Butcher said: "Sometimes it takes something like what happened to put things in perspective. It is a game of football, it's not anything else, regardless of what Bill Shankly said. With what has happened over the weekend the players really should approach this game as if it is their last because you never know. Enjoy it and do the best you can do.

"If we keep on getting crosses in the box and forcing the other team to defend then sooner or later we are going to score. But we must get better crosses into the box and there must be more people willing to take a chance and gamble and be more pro-active in the penalty area and just outside for us to score that goal. But the boys will be fired up, there's no doubt about that."

"It's indicative that we have only had one penalty this season. So we need much more dominance in our opponents' penalty areas and be more pro-active. That comes through work, belief and trust - which I am sure we will get."

Ross County lie 11th in the league but their manager Derek Adams believes home advantage today could be crucial in starting a winning run. He said: "It's still very tight in the bottom six. A win can really help you and we have seen that in recent weeks with the likes of St Mirren and Kilmarnock. We want to try to catch those teams above us.

"We need to get that goal ahead to give us something to hold on to, and that confidence to keep on going."

Plans are under way to bring reinforcements to Dingwall next month. Adams said: "We've got to strengthen the squad in January. The squad we've got is a bit depleted. We are already well down the line in trying to add over the festive period. If you look at the strength in depth, the players we have here already are going to be helped by players coming in."

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