Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell reckons players who have enjoyed previous success with the Staggies have formed the core of the club’s revamped squad.
Following relegation to the Championship, Kettlewell and fellow co-manager Steven Ferguson have made 11 signings during the summer transfer window, among them Iain Vigurs, Brian Graham and Don Cowie who have returned to Dingwall.
County have also held on to a number of key players from their Premiership days, including some who helped the club lift the League Cup in 2016, and Kettlewell feels the retained players have as big a role to play as new arrivals.
Kettlewell said: “We’re really happy with how the recruitment process went over the summer – and happy with the re-signings as well.
“They sometimes get lost among the new faces coming in, but we’re really happy with the guys we managed to retain – especially as a club dropping down to the Championship.
“New players must always make your squad better, but I’m also a great believer that if you keep the guys with knowledge of the club, who have played here for a period of time, they must be credited as well.
“We know we were relegated but, within that, we have a good group of good players we were able to keep who have been part of a successful period before.
“We now have at the club guys like Brian Graham, Marcus Fraser and Michael Gardyne who were part of our League Cup success in 2016, along with the likes of Iain Vigurs. These are all guys who have been here and done it. We’re really happy with the balance we have there.”
The majority of County’s transfer business was completed before the squad returned for pre-season training in June, and Kettlewell does not envisage any further movement before tonight’s transfer deadline, after dismissing reports of a move for Hibernian winger Danny Swanson.
He added: “There’s nothing happening on the transfer front from our point of view.
“I know that’s not exciting, but we feel our excitement happened towards the start of the transfer window, as opposed to the end.
“That was how we set out to be because it can become that rat race in the last couple of hours of the window and it wasn’t something we wanted to do.
“Unless something dramatic happens between now and the deadline then there’s not a great deal happening at our end.”