Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell hopes a professional showing against Stirling Albion today will allow him to hand more young players an opportunity.
Kettlewell handed debuts to Michael O’Connor and Ben Williamson towards the end of Tuesday’s Betfred Cup tie against Elgin City, after the Staggies had racked up a 4-1 advantage.
Earlier in the group stage, County relinquished a three-goal lead to draw with Montrose, before winning the penalty shoot-out to claim the bonus point.
With the Staggies requiring a win over Stirling at Victoria Park to qualify for the second round as group winners, Kettlewell hopes getting the job done early can allow him to experiment.
He said: “Performances are always important when we look at these types of games, especially playing at home
“A couple of guys got on the scoresheet with their first goals for the club on Tuesday and Oli Shaw continued his run, so there are all these stories we can talk about, but only if these guys apply themselves properly and do their job to the best of their ability.
“There will probably be a few changes to our personnel again, so that might give an opportunity to one or two others to go and make their mark.
“The Montrose game frustrated me for that exact reason, we wanted to try and get as many people experience as we could.
“After we squandered a three-goal lead, it became a bit frantic and we couldn’t make as many changes as we would have liked to throughout the game.
“By doing the work properly in the second half, it gives us the opportunity to get these guys on the pitch.
“Ben Williamson has been training with us since the start of pre-season and actually played 90 minutes against Livingston in a friendly, where he showed he acquits himself well at that level.
“I was delighted to get him on the pitch and hopefully on Saturday we’ll get the chance to give one or two more guys a run out.”
Kettlewell feels the cup matches have provided a fine opportunity to hand players game time during the international break and he added: “I don’t think any of us have been wanting or wishing for a break of late.
“We’ve missed so much football we’re desperate to keep going. We all have big squads and nine substitutes, so it has been a good opportunity to rotate your team.
“We’re struggling for friendly matches and we’re not carrying a reserve team to play extra games and get the likes of Michael O’Connor and Jermaine Hylton match fitness.
“It is a balancing act for myself and the players, but hopefully they come out at the end of these four League Cup games saying we’ve gained from it.”