Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell has demanded his players show a reaction to their slip down the Premiership table when in-form Livingston visit Victoria Park tomorrow.
County are eager for points after suffering a drop in form in recent weeks, with Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Kilmarnock their eighth successive match without a win.
That is in stark contrast to Livi, who have won their last five games to move within four points of fourth-placed Aberdeen.
County have not fared well against the West Lothian outfit this season, with a 4-1 home loss in August followed by a 4-0 defeat at Almondvale in December, and Kettlewell insists his side will be well drilled on the threats posed by Gary Holt’s men.
Kettlewell said: “This has reared its head a few times this season but we’ve always bounced back.
“After the negativity of the result against Ayr United in the Scottish Cup we produced some really good performances against Celtic – I know we lost but I can’t see many teams creating as many chances as we did against them. There were similar aspects in our game against Rangers.
“We have always found that bounce but it’s about finding that level of consistency.
“We’re going to need a reaction to this when we play Livingston on Wednesday because it’s always a test of our character against them. We all know how the game will pan out, and it’s our job to make sure the players are aware of that.”
Kettlewell was frustrated by the manner of his side’s loss at Rugby Park on Saturday, adding: “We put so much in over the last few games and it has been well documented the fixtures we had. But we gave them credit for what they did against Hearts, Celtic and Rangers away from home.
“We then went down to Kilmarnock and we tried to make them aware of certain scenarios in Saturday’s game – such as Eamonn Brophy cutting inside on his right foot for the first goal because that’s what he does.
“They need to be switched on when that happens.”
Despite County’s recent form, Kettlewell has been encouraged by the early impact made by new arrivals Jordan Tillson and Coll Donaldson, who have started the Dingwall side’s last five matches.
Kettlewell added: “Jordan does what we knew he would do, he’s very reliable with whatever task you set him, while big Coll has got all the attributes to be an excellent centre back.
“We have to try and build on that, but knowing Coll and Jordan they probably feel there’s more to come as well.
“We look forward to seeing that, and we will look forward to them bringing their contribution to the second part of the season.”