Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell has challenged Davis Keillor-Dunn to fill the void left by the injury to winger Michael Gardyne.
Gardyne is not expected back until Christmas after breaking a bone in his foot in his side’s win at Partick Thistle on October 6 and his injury led to Keillor-Dunn being given a chance to impress in Saturday’s Irn-Bru third round cup-tie against Montrose.
The winger made the most of his opportunity, scoring twice in a man-of-the-match display in the 3-1 win against the Gable Endies and Kettlewell has urged the 20-year-old from Sunderland to seize his chance.
He said: “Davis has all all the quality in the world and he is the type of player who can light up any game. Michael Gardyne was in such good form at the start of the season which probably left Davis a little frustrated.
“We know we have such an able replacement for Midge and we can see Davis going from strength to strength. He looks bright, bubbly and is enjoying his football.
“I cast my mind back to Dundee away last season and it was one of the best individual performances we’ve seen in the Premiership and that’s what we want from him.”
Summer signing Ross Stewart also impressed in a rare start by scoring the opening goal in the win, much to the delight of his watching co-bosses.
Kettlewell said: “It was good to get Ross 90 minutes too as he has been training well. Again, he has had to be patient as Billy Mckay has been in a rich vein of form in the last couple of weeks but Ross will be a really good player for this club and I thought he put in a reasonable performance.”
The quarter-final draw for the Irn-Bru Cup will be made at lunchtime today and Kettlewell would love the chance to face one of his former clubs but has no issue about traveling to Ireland or Wales with both Connah’s Quay Nomads and Bohemians among the list of potential opponents.
He said: “I’ve got a soft spot for my old club Queen’s Park and wouldn’t mind going there.
“We’ve spoken in the past, if it’s one of the clubs in Wales or Ireland it’s fine.
“I like the idea of the cup and travelling to a different ground to play a different team. It’s a good incentive and we definitely want to do the best I can. We’re not taking it lightly.”