Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell hopes a second successive Ladbrokes Championship manager of the month award proves he and Steven Ferguson are getting the desired response from the Staggies’ squad.
Kettlewell and Ferguson yesterday picked up the October award after ending the month unbeaten with four wins from five matches, with County attacker Billy Mckay scooping the player of the month.
With the Staggies three points adrift of leaders Ayr United in their efforts to return to the Premiership at the first time of asking, Kettlewell has been heartened by the reaction he and Ferguson have had from County’s players since their relegation from the top-flight.
Kettlewell said: “I can hand-on-heart say there have been a lot of influences from my perspective and Steven will tell you the same. Steven has been a real influence on me, having been a coach at the club since I was a player.
“You look at so many things and say ‘I like that’ – a snippet here or there. Equally, the flip-side is sometimes you’ve seen things you don’t particularly like.
“You think if you had the opportunity you wouldn’t do it that way. That’s not being disrespectful, we are all different people with different beliefs on the game.
“It is so important you put your own stamp on it as well. Your players and your football club must see your own personality, what you’re like and what you’re about. From that, hopefully, you see those strands you want from the football team.
“In our case, there are two characters and we hope that blend between the two of us is a good influence on the team. Up to this point, it certainly has been. We just need to make sure that continues.”
Mckay’s award comes following a rich vein of goalscoring form, in which the former Caley Thistle attacker netted eight goals in four matches during October, and Kettlewell added: “It is maybe easier for me, having played against Billy during Highland derbies playing for Inverness. It always stuck in my mind how much of a handful he was to play against.
“I remember having conversations with guys like Grant Munro and Scott Boyd after Highland derbies and them saying he was a nightmare to play against. That sticks in your mind.
“But the other thing that allows you to keep faith in somebody is how they go about their business. We know it is important to play on a Saturday and, if you’re a striker, you’re expected to score goals.
“But watching him in training and about the football club every day, Billy is not the loudest and most brash guy in the world but he’s a top pro and a great influence on the younger players in how he acts and does his job.”