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Keep ball rolling to avoid rut; Staggies: Consistency key to season.

Byline: ANDY SKINNER

Former Ross County goalkeeper Michael Fraser believes continuity is the key for the Staggies as they prepare to make the step up to the Premiership next season.

Fraser was part of County's team which won promotion to the top-flight for the first time in the club's history under Derek Adams in 2012, as a teammate of current Staggies comanager Stuart Kettlewell. The 35-year-old from Drumnadrochit helped the Staggies achieve a 40-match unbeaten league run, of which the final six were in the club's maiden Premiership campaign.

Fraser reckons the familiarity of County's squad was key to the eventual fifth placed finish that term, and he said: "I felt when we went up the squad got disbanded too quickly. It was very tightknit and it served us well. "It was a smaller squad than what they have now, but it was a really strong squad and we won the league really convincingly. You don't win any league with a poor squad.

"Every manager has got to do it differently. I know a squad has to be refreshed, but I felt that squad could have been more successful if the nucleus had stayed together a wee bit longer.

"I think Stuart and Steven have identified that. They know they have got good lads, they will get guys in but I think they are smart enough to know that if you've got a good team you don't dismantle it - you add to it in bits and pieces.

"They have got the right idea in trying to keep the core of the team together."

County's Championship title triumph returned them to the top-flight at the first time of asking, having previously spent six seasons in the Premiership.

Former Inverness goalkeeper Fraser, who now plays shinty for Glen Urquhart, feels the Staggies must aim to preserve their place among Scotland's elite, adding: "I know what Stuart and Steven will say - they are not stupid. They will want to consolidate their position in the league first, before they look too far ahead."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:Jun 17, 2019
Words:339
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