As Saturday draws closer it is a return to league action for Ross County as we welcome Livingston to the Global Energy Stadium. With a 3-0 win over Hamilton and a 0-0 draw at Tynecastle securing 4 points from 6 for the Staggies it has been great return to the top table of Scottish football, something Kettlewell is keen to continue.
“Livingston will be a different match for us compared to what we have faced so far. They have their own style which Gary Holt has imposed on them and they are a hard team to beat. I think when you look at the success they had last season its clear to see they have a belief and confidence within their group of players which we have to an extent too. If you look at last seasons table, Hearts who finished 6th actually lost more matches than Livi so it says a lot for them that if they aren’t winning games they will try to get a point as minimum and I think any club out with the Old Firm would adapt that mentality.”
On the disappointment of losing out in the Betfred Cup last weekend, Kettlewell feels its ample opportunity for the players to give a reaction in front of a home crowd.
“Last week is gone, its now history. We have asked the guys for a reaction but equally they know themselves that they want to get back to winning ways as soon as possible. If we hadn’t have won the league last season and started the way we have this campaign I don’t think its as much of a story but the players understand that everybody is watching them and that is down to how great they have been over the past 18 months for us. For us we now have a fantastic opportunity to get back on form in the league and having a home match this weekend is a great draw for fans to come out and get behind the team.”
On picking a team for Saturday it doesnt get any easier for the Co-Managers. After a strong start to the campaign it leaves the management with the perfect headache.
“I think Steven and I have said this about a million times since we have come back to pre-season but we genuinely have the best headache a Manager can ask for in football. When you have so many good players at your disposal and hungry to play and win you can’t ask for more. You can see how much the players want to be in this team, you only have to look at Harry Paton’s performance when he came off the bench last week to see that, they are all so eager to impress when they get their chance. A few of the guys played in our Reserve match on Monday and we are watching that game and seeing the tenacity in their eyes to try and stand out to get in to our team and we can’t ask for more.”
Finally, we keenly pointed out that our very own Ross Laidlaw is the only goalkeeper yet to concede a goal in the Scottish Premiership this campaign.
“I think it’s a real confidence boost for Ross (Laidlaw) to be the only goalkeeper yet to concede a goal in the league this campaign. Ross has been a brilliant asset for us since he has come in and he is working with a top professional in Scott Thomson who is working with him to keep him developing. Everybody knows that finding good goalkeepers is very difficult and I think with our goalkeepers we have actually been very lucky in that sense.”