Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell believes critics of Livingston’s style of play have done the West Lothian outfit a disservice.
Livi enjoyed a fine campaign after winning promotion to the top-flight last season, ending the campaign 12 points clear of the relegation zone in ninth place despite being widely tipped to go straight back down.
Although Livi’s perceived direct style has drawn criticism, Kettlewell feels Gary Holt’s men have not had the credit they deserve for remaining in the Premiership ahead of today’s Dingwall encounter.
Kettlewell said: “I think you heard stories last season when their style was much-maligned.
“At times, people were labelling them as very direct and at times ugly.
“Personally, I don’t really see that. I don’t buy into it too much.
“I looked at a team that looked very well-drilled, very organised and knew exactly what their identity was to go and try to achieve their goal.
“To them, that would have been trying to stay in the Premiership.
“They got off to a flyer in doing so and although their form tailed off in the second part of the season, that can often be the case.
“There’s a massive amount of credit needs to go to Livingston for what they’ve done in recent seasons.”
County return to Victoria Park for the first time in three weeks, with Kettlewell hoping the Staggies can build on their opening day 3-0 victory over Hamilton Accies in their last home outing.
Kettlewell added: “The message is pretty clear from our own point of view, getting ourselves home after a couple of weeks on the road.
“Our last game here was against Hamilton and we need to make sure we go and reach the heights of what we did that day.
“We started the game brilliantly and got off on the front foot. We never looked back.
“We’ll be looking to try to hit that mark this weekend. We believe, if we can do that, we give ourselves a really good chance of winning the game.
“But there will certainly be some questions asked of us from a team that consolidated well in the Premiership last season.”