Staggies regrouping with aim to improve

Greg Tansey is suffering from a recurring hamstring problem.

Ross County co-interim manager Stuart Kettle-well is in no doubt that something serious needs to change if the Staggies are to beat the drop this season.

From the outside, County chairman Roy MacGregor’s decision to hand the reins to Kettlewell and academy director Steven Ferguson until the end of the season is one that gives the club the best chance of maintaining a sense of continuity.

But 33-year-old Kettle-well, who made more than 100 appearances for the club before guiding its Development League side to a championship in 2016-17, said he is under no illusion that he and Ferguson must shake things up if County are to get out of the mire.

He said: “We’re looking at the stark reality that we’ve won four games out of the last 22.

“From our point of view, something serious has to change.

“That’s no disrespect to what went before but that is the reality of the matter.

“We have to make that better to get out of the position we’re in.”

The new management duo admitted it has been a bit of a whirlwind since Owen Coyle surprisingly quit last week and they were placed in charge until the end of the season.

Last weekend’s clash against Partick Thistle failed to beat the weather but the silver-lining was that it allowed the pair more time to prepare the team for their first match, which will be a difficult away trip to in-form Kilmarnock on Saturday. Kettle- well said: “In terms of a start, we couldn’t have asked for much more from the players.

“We’ve implemented a few things ourselves as early as we can.

“We feel as if it has been well-received. I think it would be wrong for us to say exactly what we’re looking for, we’re hoping that will be evident come Saturday.”

The Staggies are sitting at the foot of the Scottish Premiership but despite their struggles, they are only three points behind second-bottom Thistle and five behind third-bottom Hamilton Accies.

Ferguson, who knows a thing or two about escaping relegation having helped County avoid the drop from the First Division on goal difference as a player in 2003, believes the Staggies’ current crop are good enough to turn things around.

He said: “Without doubt the players have grasped the seriousness of the situation.

“We’ve tried to be clear and honest about the reality of the situation we’re in.

“But we’re equally clear that we thoroughly believe we’ve got enough in the dressing room to get us out of that situation.”