Ross County co-interim manager Stuart Kettlewell is itching to make his debut in the dugout after drafting a masterplan on how to beat Kilmarnock during a road trip down the A9.
Kettlewell and his co-manager Steven Ferguson took a seven-hour round trip to Rugby Park to watch Killie beat St Johnstone 2-0 on Wednesday night.
First and foremost, it allowed them to watch tomorrow’s opponents up close but 33-year-old Kettlewell said it was also an excellent chance for him and Ferguson to talk tactics.
“We thought it was a good opportunity to spend a bit of time in the car to brainstorm,” he said. “It was nothing but football chat for the best part of seven hours.
“We certainly have ideas which we’ve been building up through the course of the week. We’ll have a look and a think about how Kilmarnock are going to play but it’s not just that, it’s about how we’re going to play.
“How we will implement our style of play on Kilmarnock and how we can hurt them. We know they’re on a good run and are brimming with confidence so it’s up to us to find the right formula so that our players are looking confident and can go and express themselves in the right areas.”
Things have started to settle down for the new management duo after they were handed the reins last week in the wake of Owen Coyle’s surprise resignation.
Last weekend’s clash against Partick Thistle was postponed, giving the pair more time to prepare for their first competitive game as co-managers of the first team.
Kettlewell, who guided County’s Development League side to a league championship in 2016-17, said a huge part of his job will be to restore some belief among a squad of players he is certain are good enough to survive relegation.
“Getting that belief back is a huge part of it,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in coming up with a plan for each game. The motivational stuff and the belief comes from that plan, this is what we’re going to do, this is what they do and this is how we’ll look to counter it.
“We’re looking forward to Saturday more than anything, we’re desperate to get out there on the pitch.”
Kilmarnock’s win over St Johnstone last night has lifted them to fifth in the Scottish Premiership ahead of their match against Ross County at Rugby Park tomorrow. Steve Clarke’s rejuvenated team have only lost once in their last 16 matches – a run which has included wins over Celtic and Rangers.
County are sitting at the foot of the table, trailing second-bottom Partick Thistle by three points.