STEVE Ferguson last night hailed Ross County’s title-winning effort – and insisted the Dingwall heroes were ready for the Lad-brokes Premiership.

The County co-manager credited an incredible team spirit and togetherness for the silverware success.

It was sealed as a Josh Mullin-inspired rout imperilled Queen of the South. The 26-year-old winger created goals for Ross Stewart and Brian Graham and then smashed in one himself, stirring wild scenes in Dingwall.

Graham’s second added extra fizz late on as the double trophy-winning Staggies booked a Premiership comeback just a year after their disastrous drop.


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Ferguson said: “We have had a ‘we’ mentality in the dressing-room and throughout the club all season. And it’s that togetherness which has got us through.

“Tonight was an example of it, we got through it together because we didn’t want to stumble over the line.

“We feel we deserve to be champions and to do it scoring four goals is great.

“I can’t speak highly enough about the players. We trusted them from the start and they have delivered for us.

“We feel we have a team cap-able of competing in any game we play, so there is a group there who will compete in the Premiership.

“Next season will be a new challenge but we are looking forward to it already.”

Queens remain just three points clear of the automatic rel-egation place at the foot of the table and will nervously eye rival results today.

The course of a calamitous last Premiership season for County brought the sackings of both Jim McIntyre, seven games into the season, and successor Owen Coyle just a few months later.

Club stalwarts and managerial novices Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell were elevated from the youth structure to take charge for the final 10 games, but relegation reality bit on the final day.

But the unusual relationship has more than blossomed in the league below.


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County have topped the table at the close of every quarter and a league and Irn-Bru cup double is now theirs.

A respectful minute’s applause for the late, great Celtic legend Billy McNeill was the prelude to kick-off in the pouring rain.

The home breakthrough came just before the half-hour mark.

Mullin’s swerving corner from the left veered into the Queens six-yard box and Stewart stooped in front of defender Michael Doyle to hammer in a header.

The winger’s second assist of the evening – and 21st of the campaign – brought the house down five minutes into the second half.

A pin-point delivery from the far right this time found striker Graham to score with a header.

Mullin then took a Declan McManus pass before rocketing a fabulous 22-yard strike past Deniz Mehmet from just inside the “D”.

And the fans erupted again as Graham smashed in another header from Tom Grivosti’s cross.