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Ross County and St Johnstone share remit in nurturing talent, says Staggies boss Stuart Kettlewell

Stuart Kettlewell.
Stuart Kettlewell.

Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell feels the Staggies share a similar remit to today’s opponents St Johnstone in trying to nurture young talent.

The Staggies have featured a number of young players in their starting line-up throughout the season, including teenager Josh Reid, midfielder Harry Paton and defender Alex Iacovitti.

Kettlewell feels his opposite number Callum Davidson is operating a similar model with Saints, which he says requires patience to allow players to develop.

Kettlewell said: “With Ross County and St Johnstone, you’re always dealing with some sort of flaw and that’s not to be demeaning.

“Hopefully we’re clubs that are trying to progress players who are trying to find their feet and show they can do well at this level. Maybe we can surprise a few along the way.

“We understand there are going to be mistakes. If I start becoming the ogre and try to throw my players under the bus then this whole thing’s not going to work. And I’m pretty sure Callum is of the same opinion with the young players he has.

“We don’t deal with robots – they are human beings. We hope our younger guys come out on top of some of St Johnstone’s exciting prospects at the weekend.”

Davidson took over at McDiarmid Park in the summer, replacing Tommy Wright who departed after seven years in charge.

Although Saints have lost three of their last four games, Kettlewell feels the Perth side are unfortunate not to have added to their seven-point tally.

Ross Draper is a doubt for County this weekend

He added: “There’s been a big change for St Johnstone after the continuity of having the same manager for a long period of time.

“You would probably say there are still one or two of the old guard there and some exciting talent in their team. They seem to have a decent balance.

“I’ve seen a lot of St Johnstone’s games and they maybe haven’t had the rewards their performances have merited so far.

Kettlewell, who has injury doubts over Ross Draper, Connor Randall and Billy Mckay, says he will set his side out to be on the front foot following last weekend’s 5-0 loss to Celtic.

Kettlewell added: “I don’t know if people thought I was kidding on before we kicked a ball, when I said we would approach every game in a fashion to try and win it. If last Saturday wasn’t an indication of that, I don’t know what will be.

“Everybody could see we played on the front foot and pressed Celtic at the top end of the pitch, we created chances.

“If we are doing that against what we would arguably say is the best team in the league, that has won the last nine league titles, and spends millions on their players, I think that gives you an indication that is what we are going to do every week.”


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