Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell knows repeat displays of the Staggies’ loss to Kilmarnock will leave him under pressure.
County were defeated 3-1 at Rugby Park on Saturday, against a Killie side which played 82 minutes of the match with only 10 men.
The Staggies are now without a win in their last seven league matches and face a difficult run of fixtures, with Sunday’s Betfred Cup trip to Celtic followed by league games against Rangers and Aberdeen.
Despite his strong relationship with chairman Roy MacGregor, Kettlewell says a similar level of application to his side’s Ayrshire display in the upcoming games will leave him in a difficult position.
Kettlewell said: “Roy has always been great, but he challenges me more than people will ever know. I don’t sit here in an ivory tower just because I have a relationship with the chairman and a history with the football club.
“I am challenged on a daily basis. I can’t ask for any more other than the backing the chairman has given me.
“But one thing I know is that if my team continue to perform the way they did on Saturday, that will increase the pressure on me.
“That’s not being dramatic, it’s the harsh reality of football.
“If my team show the same level of commitment over the next three, four, five games then of course that puts me under pressure the same way it does everyone.
“We are going through a bad spell and it’s up to me to find a way through it and steer everyone at the football club.
“We have a tough run of games, nobody expects us to win the next three games, but what I need to see is us being competitive in them.
“It would be a brave man to say we’ll beat Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen – but we need to show a steel and determination.”
Kettlewell is in his first season in sole charge of County having previously been co-manager alongside Steven Ferguson, however, he does not feel the current situation is tougher than what he has dealt with in the past.
He added: “We have dealt with pressure since the day we came in, first trying to save the club from relegation, then having to win the Championship and then staying in the league last season.
“I don’t believe I am facing anything different to when I took the job with Steven, there is constant pressure.
“Not many managers sit there thinking they have a job for life, regardless of whether their team performs. Every single one of us is under pressure all the time.
“I am not going to hide from anything, that’s the job. I didn’t want to sit in the background and let other people make decisions.
“When you are a decision-maker you are under pressure and I am more than happy to embrace that.”