Malky Mackay says transfer deadline falling on same night as Ross County face Hibernian is far from ideal

Malky Mackay says transfer deadline falling on same night as Ross County face Hibernian is far from ideal

A busy day lies ahead for Malky Mackay as Ross County aim to wrap up their January transfer window business ahead of Tuesday’s visit to Hibernian.

Mackay confirmed he was working on both entrances and exits at Victoria Park, ahead of the midnight deadline on Tuesday.

Mackay has been linked with a loan move for Celtic goalkeeper Conor Hazard.

The 24-year-old Northern Ireland international recently returned to Parkhead after a 12-month loan spell at Finnish club HJK Helsinki, where he made 39 appearances.

County have already drafted in Nohan Kenneh, Josh Stones and Eamonn Brophy this month.

The deadline day falling on the same night as Hibs make the trip to Dingwall adds further tension to County’s schedule, with the Easter Road side having turned down the opportunity to change the date of the Premier League fixture to next month .

Eamonn Brophy celebrates a debut goal for Ross County. Image: SNS

Mackay, with the help of chief executive Steven Ferguson and head of recruitment Enda Barron, insists the Staggies will work overtime throughout the day.

He said: “It’s happened before, and it’s not great.

“I’ve had many years where that day and that night get very hectic with incomings and the odd outgoing.

“I remember at Watford we had the possibility that our star striker Danny Graham would go that night – in the end I just turned my phone off and went to bed, thinking I would wake up in the morning to find out if he was gone or not.

“He didn’t, which was good because I kept my centre-forward.

“We were with people trying to sign us, trying to rush through paperwork.

“If the deadline falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, there’s always the chance you’ll have a game, and we tried to move this one to no avail.

“We’ll just deal with it and get on with it.”

End of window can bring knee-jerk decisions

Mackay insists the Staggies will not be drawn into panic buying as the final hours of the window approach.

He added: ‘The January window is hugely different to the summer.

“There’s a lot of knee-jerk stuff that happens, especially at the end of the window. There are stories everywhere of owners who get carried away at 11:30 p.m., who finally convert at their leisure a month later.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay. Image: SNS

“It’s a dangerous time for clubs, and – over a period of years – you’ve got to get a department in place where there’s structure and stability and succession planning.

“There’s obvious gambling because of league positions, but it’s an interesting time.

“I try not to get too carried away, and I stopped watching television that night a long time ago because there is a lot of sensation.”

Setback for Purrington as he needs to be cleaned up

Mackay has confirmed left-back Ben Purrington has suffered a setback in his recovery from a fractured ankle.

Purrington, who has been sidelined since October, is expected to be out for another six weeks.

Mackay is hopeful the 26-year-old can return to play a role in the final weeks of the campaign.

The Staggies boss said: “It got to a point where we let him run again. There was an obstruction and therefore he was operated on again on Sunday.

“It was simply just to get a tiny bit of jagged something out of there. That will set him back another six weeks.

Ben Purrington. Image: SNS

“I’m sick of him because he’s a great boy. He is another one who has been in that gym and worked with the physios over a period of time to get himself ready to go again.

“He was desperate to come and help us because he is one of the real solid citizens in our dressing room. That’s one of the reasons why I brought him.

“He was very unfortunate – he and Connor Randall had that very similar injury where someone fell on them, and it was very clear what needed to be fixed.

“But it was always going to take a while. I hope we will get him for the run-up.”

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