WHERE once the first thought on arriving at Ross County was grabbing a pie, Billy Dodds knows, from now on, it is all about the business of picking up points.

The former Rangers, Aberdeen and Scotland striker admits he could easily have stuck with the relatively cushy life of TV and radio punditry, rather than throw himself into the glare of scrutiny by past colleagues.

The comforts of the job, Dodds says, were rarely greater than when the Dingwall club were handing out the hospitality - but old instincts prevailed when Jim McIntyre came calling this week and asked Dodds to be his assistant.

The drive that has kept him involved in coaching for the past nine years - eight since hanging up his boots - was always likely to have him stepping aside from his BBC role, and Dodds and new Ross County manager McIntyre had chatted about forging a management partnership since their Dundee United playing days.

Finally, the full-time opportunity came earlier this week when chairman Roy MacGregor placed applications from John Hartson, Patrick Kluivert and Winston Bogarde in his out-tray and plumped for McIntyre. Dodds, who was McIntyre's strikers' coach at Palmerston, had no hesitation.

The 45-year-old, who also coached at Tannadice under Gordon Chisholm and became Chisholm's Dens Park assistant, said: "People will say: 'you were comfortable where you were, you were enjoying your job, there wasn't pressure'. And, of course, I thought about all that.

"Your career usually comes in stages. Your playing days are your best days, then comes coaching and then, if you can get it, media work.

"But I've always coached - I've been doing it for nine years at Dundee United, Dundee and Queen of the South. I've been lucky to have had both coaching and media work - and I've worked with some great people."

Some Ross County supporters have been quick to note Dodds was scathing of their team's performances and prospects while wearing his media hat.

Dodds said: "When I was working with Sportscene, analysing County, I saw creativity in the team because they missed chances in the match against Dundee United. I saw bits where they probably weren't defending properly and that's not having a go at the defenders - you defend as a team. When you start losing results your head goes down and you start losing more goals.

"But I wasn't that critical of them. When you work in the media you get people saying 'you don't like my team'. I don't have a dislike for any team I just analyse what I see. Always, when I came up here, I couldn't be more welcomed. They gave me five pies so I was happy as Larry."