County Deepen Celtic’s Woes

When the draw for the Scottish Cup semi-finals was made all the talk was of Rangers and Celtic being kept apart for a potential Old Firm final. It hasn’t quite worked out that way. Rangers didn’t even reach the semis in the end, losing to a scruffy but deserved last minute goal in their quarter-final replay at Dundee United; but it’s Celtic’s semi-final humiliation at the hands of Ross County which is the real story. County have attracted few headlines since their admission to the league in 1994, being often overshadowed by near-neighbours Inverness who were admitted at the same time. But while Inverness have made faster progress – and look well placed for a quick return to the SPL following last season’s relegation – County have risen surely but steadily, with relegation back to the second division in 2007 as only a temporary setback. In November of that year Derek Adams took over as manager. It was a bold and forward-looking decision – Adams was only 32 at the time – but he’s a feisty character a little in the Billy Davies mould, capable of appearing both thoughtful and pugnacious. He immediately set about justifying his appointment, the team going on a run of ten straight wins over the turn year as they coasted to promotion. The following season saw first division survival only on the final day...

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