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Player Profile: Ian McShane

“I started a lot of games at the beginning of the season but then I dropped out of the starting line up. It was frustrating but I probably didn’t deserve to be starting games because I wasn’t playing well enough at the time. It was more about consistency than anything. You have to be on your game every week at a club like this with the squad we have.”

Getting started
“I started out playing for my local youth team, Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers, when I was a boy. From there I moved to Queen of the South when I was 16 and left school at 18 to go full time. I made a few appearances when I was 18 but then had two years out through injury and missed nearly the whole 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons.”

The McIntyre connection
“Jim McIntyre joined Queen of the South as manager for the 2013/14 season and I played a lot under him until he joined Ross County in September 2014. When he left he said he might try and come back and sign me for Ross County. He tried in the January transfer window but it never happened and then in the summer I was finally able to move to Dingwall on a three year deal.

Moving north
“It was a big move coming up here from Queen of the South but as soon as I knew there was a possibility to work with the gaffer again I didn’t hesitate. The boys here had also done really well in the second half of the season before so I was really keen to come and was looking forward to playing with them in the Premiership.

“I’d played at the Global Energy Stadium before but I was surprised when I saw how good the training facilities were. They are second to none. To be honest I’d made my mind up as soon as I’d got the call and I was coming up with the intention of signing but it made it all the easier when I saw how good the set up was here.”

Settling in
“I started a lot of games at the beginning of the season but then I dropped out of the starting line up between October and December. It was frustrating but I probably didn’t deserve to be starting games because I wasn’t playing well enough at the time.

“It was more about consistency than anything. You have to be on your game every week at a club like this where you are competing with good players. Before Rocco Quinn left there were five good players chasing two positions in the middle of the park.”

“It took me time to adapt to the Premiership but hopefully I have done that now. I’ve been focusing on working hard every day and it’s starting to pay off as I’ve been starting a lot more games. I’ll be looking to push on from there.”

In the goals
“It was good personally to score a couple of goals against Aberdeen recently in my first league start for a while. It was good to get my chance and to play well and hopefully I can get a wee run in the team now. But obviously the team is the main thing so it was disappointing to lose that game.”

League Cup Semi-Final
“The game at Hampden against Celtic was definitely the biggest game I have played in. I used to get really nervous before games but the more you play the more comfortable you get so I was really looking forward to it. There was no pressure on us really, we just had to go out and play our own game.

“When we went one goal down in the first minute I thought it was going to be a nightmare – a five, six nil job. But the boys did brilliant to turn it around. Even with 11 against 10 men it can be difficult to break teams down as Aberdeen showed here a few weeks ago. But we did well to break Celtic down. I think we dominated possession. The whole day was a great experience and to win and make it to a first ever League Cup final for this club was even better.”

Final ambition
“We have a final to look forward to now and it is going to be a massive occasion for everyone connected to Ross County Football Club from the fans through to the coaching staff and players. It will be a great day. At the start of the season the manager spoke about a cup run so to win one would be huge. We are obviously going well in the Scottish Cup too so it’s been a good season so far. But we really want to cement our place in the top six too so we will be fully focused on league duty today.”

Personal ambitions?
“I just take each game as it comes really but obviously I want to go as far as I can in the game. For now I will just be working hard on establishing myself as one of the main choices in the midfield here and make sure that the club does well. If we keep this group of players and coaching staff together, and with the facilities we have, I think the sky’s the limit for Ross County.”

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