Brian Graham: Ross County want to take frustrations of Celtic rout out on my old club Hibs

Ex-Easter Road striker vows six-goal thrashing by champions was an outlier

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 7:06 am
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 8:07 am
Brian Graham has issued a warning to his former club as Ross County prepare to take on Hibs this weekend

Brian Graham has warned former club Hibs that Ross County are heading to Easter Road intent on proving that last weekend’s 6-0 defeat away to Celtic was merely a blip.

The Dingwall side were left reeling by the demolition in Glasgow but are eager to get back on track after taking eight points from their four matches immediately prior to losing to the champions.

Graham, who was part of the Hibs side that won the Championship title under Neil Lennon in 2016/17, is confident his side will be a far stronger proposition in Edinburgh this Saturday.

“We’ve obviously had a bad result but we’ve spoken about it and we’ve got big characters in this dressing-room so we’ll be looking to bounce back at Easter Road and come away with the three points,” the striker told the Evening News.

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“We were four unbeaten before we went to Celtic Park so hopefully that was just a blip, possibly a case of getting Celtic at the wrong time after they had slipped up in a couple of league games. We’ve just got to dust ourselves down and go again. We came into the Premiership on the back of a good season and I think we’ve started really well.”

County sit sixth in the Premiership while Hibs languish in second-bottom spot, five points beneath them, after failing to win a league game since the opening day of the season. Graham isn’t reading anything into his old side’s current position.

“I know they haven’t won in eight games but knowing quite a few of the boys down there and knowing what it’s like at Easter Road, it’s going to be a really tough game,” he said. “Obviously I hope it’s not this Saturday but I believe they’ll start moving up the table soon.

"Outwith the Old Firm, I feel like any team in this league can beat anyone. It’s very tight at the moment. If any team can put a run together they can get themselves up into the top four pretty quickly.”

Graham is one of four ex-Hibs players in a County squad who have made a positive start to life in the Premiership after winning the Championship title last term - goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw and centre-backs Liam Fontaine and Keith Watson are the others who previously played for the Easter Road club.

Since returning to County at the start of last season, 31-year-old Graham has scored 17 goals in just 20 starts, maintaining his trend of netting regularly despite making most of his appearances as a substitute.

At Hibs, he scored six goals despite starting just nine games, while at Cheltenham Town he scored six times from 18 starts. In total he has scored 133 goals despite being afforded only 231 starts in his entire career.

“I take a lot of heart from my scoring record,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where I am, I always believe I’ll score. It’s just about trying to get that consistent game time but sometimes it’s just down to luck if you can get a run of games.

“I’m really enjoying it at County just now. We’re playing one up front and the managers (Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson) are wanting to go with Billy McKay at the moment which is fair enough. I’m at a stage in my career where I know I’m not going to play every week but whenever I’m called upon, I’m ready. I’m still competing and once I get in the team, I intend to stay in.”