Scottish League Cup final: Ross County's Gary Woods 'ready'

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland
Ross County goalkeeper Martin Woods challenges St Johnstone's Michael O'Halloran
Martin Woods helped Ross County defeat Kilmarnock

Ross County manager Jim McIntyre has backed goalkeeper Gary Woods to handle one of the biggest weeks of his life.

Woods, who replaces injured team-mate Scott Fox in next weekend's League Cup final against Hibs, is also expecting the birth of his second child.

"We've got a very good goalkeeper in Gary," said McIntyre. "He came in against Kilmarnock and looked as if he'd been playing every week."

Fox will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with knee ligament damage.

Ross County goalkeeper Scott Fox
Scott Fox was injured against Dundee United

Former Celtic and Partick Thistle goalkeeper Fox suffered the injury in Saturday's 3-0 league defeat by Dundee United.

"It's a grade 2/3 tear which will be a minimum of 8 weeks," said McIntyre.

"He's been fantastic for us this season, none more so than the semi-final against Celtic, so for him to miss out is very disappointing.

"It's a big blow for Scott personally and also for the team.

"That's the horrible side of football, the injuries," McIntyre said. "A lot of people don't realise the psychology side of things and how difficult that can be to deal with when you do miss out on big occasions.

"It might be the only time you get to play in a final. You just never know in your career.

"Scott will have his team-mates and management for support, but it doesn't dampen that disappointment."

Woods recorded a clean sheet in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Kilmarnock and also provided an assist with a long ball for Brian Graham's late goal.

"It a fabulous way to come back into the team, isn't it?" said McIntyre. "Keepers are judged on clean sheets, but to get an assist is great."

McIntyre's attention turns to this weekend's Scottish Cup quarter final against Dundee United.

"It's another chance to reach a semi-final," he added. "We had a fantastic day at Hampden already this season.

"We want to try to get back into another semi and hopefully that kicks on your league campaign as well."