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Ross County 1 Motherwell 2: Vigurs puts an arm round the shoulder of his former side as league victory comforts Motherwell

IAIN VIGURS would help to inflict a fresh wound on Ross County at the weekend.

John Sutton celebrates his second goal of the afternoon. Picture: SNS
John Sutton celebrates his second goal of the afternoon. Picture: SNS

His return to the Highlands as a Motherwell player might have made that a particular sore point for a side he had spent four years with previously, but the midfielder would at least still feel inclined to dress the injured feelings from a 2-1 defeat and kiss them better before he headed back down the road.

The result would count as County's seventh match without a win - six of which have been defeats - a total which has added up to a stint in the SPFL Premiership's relegation play-off place. The Dingwall side have been held down by poor form this season, with their dip coinciding with Vigurs' departure for Fir Park alongside erstwhile County midfielder Paul Lawson.

It would seem somewhat obtuse to hint that County's problems lay at the feet of their former players, even if the team has missed the class and creativity which Vigurs offered in midfield. The 25-year-old has hardly revelled in the transfer either and his own form suggests that he may have missed the stable foundations at County which restored his career following rejection by Terry Butcher in Inverness, though he is adamant both County and himself will prove they are doing just fine apart soon enough.

The midfielder was reminded on Saturday of how popular he was while he was together with County - a spell which included a Scottish Cup final, a first division league title and a top-six finish in last season's top flight - with his reception from the home support largely positive. Vigurs would reciprocate afterwards and spoke with conviction about the strength which remains in this County team.

"People are scrutinising County's form but they will be just fine," he said. "They have a good side with good players and strong characters. You have the likes of Richard Brittain, Stuart Kettlewell, Rocco Quinn and Scott Boyd in there - all boys I played with for several years. They are the types you need when things aren't going so well. I have no doubt they will dig themselves out.

"County have also added some good players, but maybe they have not quite gelled so far. They have a good team and I am certain they will do okay."

It would have been crass for Vigurs to consider himself integral to the travails of his former team and he rejected the suggested that he has left a painful void in Dingwall. "Everyone moves on," said Vigurs. "I enjoyed my time at Ross County and had some great seasons here. I am at Motherwell now and just happy we got a good victory.

"It is a great result, especially after the results we have had lately. It was a good bounce back. We were maybe a bit shaky in the second half, but it was always going to happen as County will have a go at home. I think we deserved our win."

That statement is easier to agree with in the cold light of day - John Sutton scored twice for Motherwell - but the win would seem far from straightforward amid the battering wind and driving rain on Saturday. County would hit the crossbar with a free-kick early on; conceded the first goal following a wicked deflection; while the home side recovered to show greater purpose after Dutchman Kevin Luckassen was brought on as a substitute for compatriot Marc Klok.

Luckassen has still to score for County since his summer arrival but did inject greater menace into the County attack and his header after a cross from Brittain would be touched on to the roof of the net too. It would bolster the forward's conviction that County can resurrect their campaign.

"The goals are going to come. I don't have to worry," the 20-year-old said. "I know it will come, there are a lot of games and I know I will score. It is hard. It is my first year as a professional and I still don't have my first professional goal. But I just have to keep going and I know it will come. I know I can score.

"I am not worried about what people will say. The team is also not doing that well, but as a group we have to keep going and I have no doubt there will come a moment when we will start getting points."

The listless form shown by Hearts has taken away the immediate threat of relegation this season, although Luckassen is convinced his side will not need to worry about the drop at all at the end of the campaign. "If we start like we played in the second half we will make it impossible for teams to win," he added. "I don't know why we didn't start like that in the first half."

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