Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell says previous glory against Celtic reinforces his demand for more commitment from his players.
The Staggies make the trip to Parkhead in the Betfred League Cup on Sunday having qualified for the last-16 as winners of their group section.
But County have struggled for league form, having failed to record a victory in their last seven Premiership games.
Kettlewell was highly critical of his side’s latest performance in which the Dingwall men went down 3-1 to a Kilmarnock side that played 82 minutes with 10 men.
Kettlewell was part of the County squad that beat Celtic 2-0 at Hampden in a Scottish Cup semi-final 10 years ago.
The memory of that triumph, which came during the Staggies’ First Division days, has only served to heighten Kettlewell’s frustration over his current team’s inconsistency.
Kettlewell said: “I need to try to encapsulate what has happened in the past.
“When I spoke to the guys after the game, it was about where the club has been on a journey for 10 or 11 years.
“It’s not just about playing against Celtic. That was probably an area I targeted and why it hurts me most.
“It’s different players, managers and coaching staff from whenever I played against them.
“For us, as a whole, we need to realise this level of inconsistency isn’t acceptable.
“The basic standard of giving 100% effort and applying yourself fully to your job is the staple week-in, week-out.
“I can accept a lack of ability and missing chances in games, but the one thing I need to see is full commitment from players. It doesn’t matter who it’s against, I need to see that every week.
“In recent times it has been a bit up and down. We have had it one week but not the next.
“For a manager, that is difficult to deal with because you sometimes don’t see it coming. I need to see if I can try and get that out of the players, not just on the pitch but in training as well.
“The old saying is you train the way you play.”
Kettlewell insists the Staggies, who won the League Cup under Jim McIntyre in 2016, must show a drastic improvement from recent displays if they are to spring an upset against the Hoops, who have won the competition in each of the last four seasons.
Kettlewell added: “We’ve got a good history of being involved in cup competitions as a club over the last 10 or 11 years.
“We have tended to do pretty well over the years.
“Nobody expects us to win the game, but I think it’s a brilliant opportunity to try and upset the odds.
“We are never going to get a result without improving our standards on the pitch. I believe if we do that we can make ourselves feel better about what we are doing, as opposed to coming away feeling as low as a snake’s belly after the game last Saturday.
“We have to try and make that right on Sunday – irrespective of Celtic and Parkhead.”
County make the trip to Parkhead with a depleted squad. However, Kettlewell hopes his young players can rise to the challenge.
He added: “I have said often enough I’m more than happy to play young players, but we need to see that leadership and ability to deal with adverse situations which we faced on Saturday.
“We can’t shrink or hide behind someone else. That’s part of the learning curve for them.
“That’s not an excuse. If I believe in them and I think they are good enough to play in the team, it’s not just on their ability, it’s on that emotional intelligence that they can deal with any situation that’s presented to them.
“We need to pick some of the younger ones up and make sure they are prepared for Parkhead.”