Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell is keen give his full-backs attacking licence as long as they remain mindful of their defensive duties.
County’s two full-backs – Carl Tremarco and Connor Randall – combined to set up Michael Gardyne in a fine move which led to Nathan Sheron’s own goal in the 1-1 draw with St Mirren last weekend.
Kettlewell sees his full-backs as an important part of his attacking unit, but he insists their primary focus must be to keep the backline tight after the Staggies recorded the poorest goals against tally in the league last season.
Kettlewell said: “As long as they’re still giving us protection at the back – goals conceded seems to be the elephant in the room for us from last season when it was a problem – I’m OK with my full-backs attacking at the same time.
“I think in the modern game it’s massive to have that.
“It’s something we encourage, we think we’ve got the characteristics in our players to do it, it’s just how we function on that turnover of possession – that’s the buzzword in football now.
“We play against aggressive teams who look to turn the ball over, so that’s massive for me.
“We can commit to attacking as long as we’re prepared to deal with what happens when we turn the ball over.
“We get joy off it, it’s just important that we’re not conceding silly chances the other way by committing too fully to that on occasion.”
County make the trip to Livingston today, with Gary Holt’s men bottom of the table and still searching for their first win of the season.
Livi lost last season’s leading scorer Lyndon Dykes to English Championship side QPR in a £2 million move earlier this month, however Kettlewell reckons the West Lothian side will still be able to channel their threat without the recently called up Scotland international.
Kettlewell, who has doubts over striker Lee Erwin and defender Coll Donaldson, added: “Their talisman has now left, he’s missed the last one or two games, so there’s probably a bit of a style change for Livingston in how they approach games.
“I look at their energy, their aggression, and their willingness to try and win games as a football club, and I see a resemblance to what they were last season in a really successful campaign.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if it just clicks on a day for Livingston and they start to pick up points, but it’s my job and our players’ job to make sure that doesn’t come this weekend.”