Loan players at Ross County like Arsenal defender Harry Clarke must handle the ‘passion’ for Scottish Premiership if they are to succeed in England, says manager Malky Mackay.

The new County boss has signed three players on loan from England’s Premier League – Arsenal centre-back Clarke, Manchester City’s Alexander Robertson and Southampton’s Jake Vokins. Mackay believes that if the trio are to go on and have good careers at the top level, they must handle Scottish football’s intensity.

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Mackay has made signings from teams like Arsenal (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

He explained: “The scrutiny that is on the top league in Scotland is something they will not have handled. What I talk to them about is the obsession in Scotland with football. Having been down in England, the lower the league goes, the less scrutiny there is.

“You might have the highlights on a Saturday night but, up here, the top league is on TV all the time. It is covered by every radio station, social media, our journalists are at every game. It is talked about every day, clubs are analysed every day.


“I love it, to be honest – the debate and discussion, argument and opinion oozes passion for the game in our country. That’s something these loan players have got to handle because if they want to become the top player, it also happens in the English Premier League, having been there myself.

“If they want to go and become international footballers, it is about pressure and about handling that elite environment. That’s what we can offer players who come here. We can give them those experiences they wouldn’t get in England’s lower leagues.”

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