Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell insists the challenge of securing the Staggies’ Premiership survival is just as enjoyable as clinching the Development League title nearly 12 months ago.
Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson were last month handed the job of trying to keep County in the top-flight following the departure of Owen Coyle, with five points in their first five games moving the Dingwall men a point clear of Partick Thistle at the bottom of the table.
Former County midfielder Kettlewell led the club’s under-20s squad to glory last term but despite being in a relegation dogfight this time around, the 33-year-old is savouring the task equally as much.
Kettlewell said: “I can honestly say I’m relishing the challenge. I love it and I know Steven is as well.
“People can probably see in the two of us from the way we are, that we are well up for the challenge and enjoying every minute of it.
“It’s not about the two of us, it’s about keeping our status in this league.
“But with that comes unbelievable experience, different challenges which we have seen, but I think we both feel as if we’ve met them head on.
“I love a challenge – I always have done as a player and as a person in life. It’s what keeps the heart beating and ticking over.
“It’s a challenge of trying to avoid relegation. For me this time last year it was a challenge of trying to win a league at a different level, and I can honestly say I’m relishing this task as much as I did last year – maybe if not more so just by the magnitude and size of it which is a lot bigger.
“I leave here every day with a smile on my face.
County begin their post-split run-in at home to Motherwell on Saturday and Kettlewell is gearing the Staggies squad up for their five defining games that remain, adding: “There are going to be ups and downs in the next five games, we are not silly enough to think that would change in any way, but I think we are ready for the task.
“It certainly won’t be through a lack of giving ounce of energy and knowledge that we have between us.”