Malky Mackay told his Ross County players to quickly forget their Maryhill misery to focus on overturning Partick Thistle’s cinch Premiership play-off final advantage.
The Staggies lost 2-0 in the first leg at Firhill on Thursday night to leave themselves with a huge task in the return game in Dingwall on Sunday.
County had 16-year-old defender Dylan Smith sent off in between Aidan Fitzpatrick’s early strike and Brian Graham’s late first-half goal which put the Championship outfit in the box seat in the tie.
Boss Mackay is aware of the severe ramifications of removal from the Premiership but said: “At the end of the game I had 10-15 minutes with them and I spoke about getting their disappointment out (of) the way just now.
“By the time we get on that bus and go up the road I want them focused on recovering and nothing else but going out there with a positive mindset on Sunday afternoon.
“It is half-time. We are 2-0 down with 90 minutes to go. The only thing that will be on their minds is going out there to beat Partick Thistle.”
Mackay hopes the County fans turn out on Sunday to give their side a better chance of recovering the tie against a side who have gone 11 games unbeaten.
Asked what his message to the Staggies supporters was, he said: “Just to keep sticking with us. They were great on Thursday night.
“It is a long way to the Highlands and it was great that so many came down.
“There was a wee bit of misfortune as far as the sending off, that changes the dynamics of the game but I think they will see players trying for the jersey.
“You (have) seen the blocks that the players were putting in at the end and if nothing else you will see players that are trying really hard to make sure that we pull this back. So I would imagine that there will be a good crowd at Dingwall.”