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Ross County boss Stuart Kettlewell surprised Motherwell were prepared to part with Jermaine Hylton

Jermaine Hylton in action for Ross County against Rangers.
Jermaine Hylton in action for Ross County against Rangers.

Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell says he was surprised Motherwell were prepared to part with newly-signed winger Jermaine Hylton.

Kettlewell has drafted in Englishman Hylton after allowing fellow winger Josh Mullin to leave, subsequently rejoining former club Livingston.

The Staggies boss was impressed with the impact the 27-year-old made in his debut campaign with Well last year, in which he helped the Steelmen qualify for Europe.

Kettlewell said: “I had been monitoring his situation, and I had seen he wasn’t playing.

“We had a view that the likes of Josh Mullin may have to leave, so I knew we had to try and get somebody else in who was going to be an option at the top end of the pitch in a wide area.

“Jermaine can play through that central channel as well.

“I called Stephen Robinson to ask him if he was part of his plans, and I was actually a bit surprised when he said he may be available to go.

“He made 41 appearances in all competitions for Motherwell’s side which finished third in the division last year.”

Kettlewell feels a new formation deployed by Fir Park manager Stephen Robinson had left Hylton short of game time in Lanarkshire, adding: “We know we are getting a really good player.

“Against ourselves he has been an explosive player who can carry the ball, dribble with it and beat opponents.

“He has an eye for goal. I would imagine in our team he will be able to assist with goals as well with the guys he will have around him.

“From watching him last season he was an exciting player, but I think the change of shape at Motherwell has maybe hampered his chances.

Stuart Kettlewell.

“They have gone 3-5-2 with two wing-backs, which hampers his chances as somebody that wants to play as a wide midfielder.

“They have brought another striker in off the back of it as well, so it worked out for us.

“We are delighted to get him on board. He comes across as a great lad, really enthusiastic and happy-go-lucky, and I think he will fit into our dressing room.”

Kettlewell insists he was left with little choice but to let Mullin depart after the Glasgow-born winger indicated a willingness to return to the Central Belt.

He added: “Josh had asked to leave the football club. He had personal and family issues and felt he had to go back home.

“We delayed that for as many weeks as we could because we weren’t actively seeking to get rid of the player, contrary to what some reports might be.

“We tried to work with him and help him for a period of time, but Josh’s mind was set that he had to move down the road for personal reasons and family reasons.”

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