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Ross Stewart can match Lyndon Dykes’ rise, says Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell

Ross Stewart.
Ross Stewart.

Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell believes Ross Stewart is capable of matching the rise of newly-capped Scotland forward Lyndon Dykes.

Stewart has made huge progress since joining from St Mirren in 2018, netting 25 goals in 64 appearances.

A successful step up to the top flight last season, in which Stewart finished as County’s joint leading scorer on 11 goals, has attracted interest from a number of clubs this summer.

Kettlewell has confirmed the Dingwall club have turned down fresh bids for Stewart, with English clubs Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday, Fleetwood Town and Shrewsbury Town having been credited with an interest.

Kettlewell feels Stewart has the attributes to enjoy similar success to that of former Livingston forward Dykes, who netted in his second outing for Scotland against Czech Republic on Monday following a recent £2 million move to QPR.

Kettlewell said: “It is being given the chance. If you are asking me the question, if I believe Ross Stewart has levels to go and can that sort of level then in my opinion I believe he can.

“It is not for me to make a decision about the Scotland team or to criticise who has been selected and who should be selected.

“I can only give that from what I see on a daily basis and in the Premiership, and more importantly, how I see him developing.

“We are not talking about a player just now who was the same one when he walked in the door.

“We have seen a massive evolution and improvement as a player and I see that continuing every single day.

“Where does it stop for him? Ross is the one to answer that question. That is down to the player and up to him.

“I sincerely hope he maximises his potential and I believe he has another couple of levels from where he sits just now.”

At the other end of the park, County’s on-loan Celtic goalkeeper Ross Doohan helped Scotland under-21s defeat Lithuania 1-0 in a European Championship qualifier on Tuesday.

Doohan, who is ineligible to face the Hoops on Saturday, has yet to feature for the Staggies since his summer move but Kettlewell says he has pushed current number one Ross Laidlaw all the way.

Kettlewell added: “We brought Ross in before the start of the season. We had him earmarked from way back but with the goalkeeping situation at Celtic it didn’t materialise until the season started.

“That probably gave us a scenario where we had to bed Doohan in but since then Laidlaw hasn’t put a foot wrong.

“I hope he continues that same vein of form but I know he is being pushed hard by Doohan, who also hasn’t put a foot wrong and has been involved in the Scotland under-21s.

“The goalkeeping situation we have here is one I am very comfortable with.”

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