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Harry Nicolson hopes variety of pre-season opposition will set Clachnacuddin up for Highland League success ahead of visit of Ross County tonight

By Andrew Henderson

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Clachnacuddin captain Harry Nicolson believes that the range of tests his side have come up against already in pre-season will stand them in good stead for the upcoming Highland League campaign.

The Lilywhites kicked off their friendly schedule against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, before taking on junior sides Nairn St Ninian and Fraserburgh United.

While the Caley Thistle clash ended in defeat, Clach recorded a one-sided victory against the Nairn Saints before narrowly defeating Fraserburgh United last weekend.

Clach captain Harry Nicolson is happy with how the club have shaped up so far in pre-season. Picture: Callum Mackay
Clach captain Harry Nicolson is happy with how the club have shaped up so far in pre-season. Picture: Callum Mackay

Tonight their next test will come in the form of Ross County at Grant Street Park, again swinging from one side of the scale to the other, but Nicolson believes that running the gauntlet will serve Clach well going into competitive matches later this month.

“It’s been a pretty tough pre-season so far, but really good,” the 23-year-old explained.

“Our first game was against Caley Thistle, and that was a good to play against a full time team of that standard straight away.

“I thought we gave a good account of ourselves, we did quite well, but our fitness level probably took its toll with them bringing on younger, fresher boys.

“We had a game on Saturday against Fraserburgh United that probably wasn’t our best performance. It was one of those where they sat in and we were struggling to break them down, so we weren’t able to create much.

“We’ve got to take the positives from it. It’s all fitness in pre-season, minutes in the legs for all the boys, and everyone has been right up for it.

“There will be times where we will probably have to change for a certain team, and we’ve played different shapes in the games so far.

“We changed from a four at the back to three, so it’s a good time to try new things as well and get everyone used to playing with each other. It’s going well so far.”

Hosting the Staggies tonight will likely mean the toughest test Clachnacuddin face in pre-season, depending on what side Don Cowie picks.

Nicolson hopes that the Lilywhites will be able to show their quality against higher-tier opposition, but acknowledges that may be easier said than done.

“I knew most of the Caley guys from being there full time, but I think it will be a bit tougher against Ross County,” he added.

“It depends what sort of team they put out to be fair, but it will probably be similar to Caley, only Ross County will probably have a slightly better standard of player because they are a Premiership team.

“It will be a good test for us to see where we’re at compared to them.

“You’ve got to be sharp mentally, switched on all the time.

“Last Saturday we had a lot more time than we did against Caley, and we could get away with doing things a bit more slowly. That’s probably why we didn’t play as well, because the tempo of the game wasn’t that high.

“It will be really high against County, and we won’t have as much of the ball, so it will be a totally different game.

“There were spells against Caley where we kept the ball well and played well, so hopefully we can do that again against Ross County and create a few chances.”

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