Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell says the Staggies’ only Championship defeat of the campaign against Morton is all the warning his side needs ahead of today’s visit of the Greenock outfit.
County are in confident mood having climbed to the top of the table following the opening round of league fixtures, with the Dingwall men on a run of eight matches without defeat in all competitions.
The Staggies’ last defeat came when they made the trip to Cappielow on August 25, in what remains the only blemish on their otherwise strong start to the campaign, and Kettlewell reckons Ton’s 2-1 victory last time out will give Jonatan Johansson’s men belief they can topple the league leaders at Victoria Park.
Kettlewell said: “We’re definitely wary of their threat, but it’s so important we impose ourselves on them.
“They’ll be pretty confident knowing they’ve beaten us already. We need to vigilant and make sure if we get out of the blocks well it gives us a real good edge.
“Getting the first goal in any game gives you something to build on. We did that last time against Morton with a fantastic goal from Don Cowie and then switched off. We seemed to feel we’d done enough in the game.
“In this league, I don’t think you can ever switch off at 1-0 and think you’ve won the game.”
Kettlewell described the first half of last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Ayr United as being among the best performances since he and Steven Ferguson took over as co-managers in March, and the former Staggies midfielder says his players have been instructed to play with freedom.
Kettlewell added: “I sound a bit blase sometimes, but football is there to be enjoyed.
“I’m fed up with this constant tension and stress in the game. Yes, players are paid to go and play and it’s your job. It’s important you win as many games as you can.
“We’ve got demands on us and we set demands on the players, but you only do that by expressing yourself and by enjoying it.
“That’s when supporters enjoy it and when managers and players enjoy it. It is there to be enjoyed and we forget that sometimes.”
County defenders Liam Fontaine and Callum Morris will miss out with hamstring injuries, with attacker Ross Stewart also doubtful due to a knock suffered in training, however Iain Vigurs is expected to overcome a calf problem.