DAVID CANCOLA is convinced something special is brewing at Ross County with the club finding their DNA for success this season.
The Austrian midfielder scored the opener in the 2-1 defeat to Celtic at Parkhead but was not disheartened by defeat as he reckons the Dingwall side can have a season to remember.
Cancola, 26, was part of the Malky Mackay’s squad that narrowly missed out on the top six last season after a dire start to the season, so he was never concerned this time round.
Twelve months ago County had just six points to their name after eight defeats, three draws and a solitary win after 12 outings. This time – albeit having played a handful more matches – County have 15 points offering a much greater platform to aim for a top-half finish.
And Cancola is confident the new-look squad can challenge at the right end of the table.
“Definitely. I am glad you asked that question because we really sense that in the group,” said Cancola when quizzed on whether he feels something building at County.
“I think we had ten new players, changed the squad completely again so it took a while to really find the DNA if you want to put it that way.
“Now, we’re really starting to click and put in better performances – the points we are racking up are showing that.”
“I see many similarities to last season. I think one of the hard parts was trying to replace players we lost last season – but that’s not possible in football. You have to find a new DNA.
“Maybe that took a bit longer than we were hoping but it seems like everything is starting to click and that is why I can’t wait to go again.
“We are just looking at ourselves this season. It’s a different league, different opponents so we’re just going game for game and trying to rack up as many points as possible.
“I think we can do very well again this season.”
Cancola’s second-half penalty gave Celtic a scare at Parkhead and the Austrian admitted he had a sneaky feeling it might be County’s day before a ten-minute turnaround.
“I was thinking that it might be our day,” he said. “It could look different from the outside but it felt like we might have had them this time and we could get a result here but we switched off once or twice. A few seconds and it can change really quickly so it’s very frustrating but I think there are a lot of positives to take away.”
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou claimed after the match that a penalty – awarded for a handball against Matt O’Riley from very close range – was the only way the Staggies would score.
But for Cancola, that simply wasn’t the case.
Probed on whether he felt there was a lack of respect in the statement, he said: “I am probably not in the position to comment on that but I would not phrase it that way – especially after a tight game like that. And if I remember correctly the last game was very tight as well. I think we held the to a draw until two minutes from the end (last time).
“I don’t quite agree with what he said there but it’s up to him. I’m not going to comment on that any further.”
And Cancola insists there’s no need for his side to hold out hope for penalty calls when facing either Glasgow club – as they’ve already got the confidence to play for a win.
“As crazy as it sounds, we’re not looking for hope here against Rangers or Celtic,” he explained.
“We come every time and have in our heads that we want to win.
“We’re not just coming here hoping for penalties. We want to come and compete and give them a good game.”
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