Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell says the Staggies will be punished for any more penalty box slackness when they face Celtic in tomorrow’s Betfred Cup last-16 tie at Parkhead.
The Staggies conceded an eighth penalty of the season in last Saturday’s 3-1 loss at Kilmarnock at Rugby Park, in which their opponents played 82 minutes of the match with 10 men.
Kettlewell says the split-second decision making from his players must improve and insists there will be even less margin for error when they come up against Neil Lennon’s side, who are aiming to win the League Cup for the fifth successive season.
Kettlewell said: “We conceded another penalty at the weekend. The work we have to do inside our own box is magnified when you play Celtic and Rangers – especially away from home.
“We have to ensure we improve on those elements. It’s simply decision making, there are very few drills we can actually do that are going to improve those situations.
“Emotional intelligence is probably the term that sums it up best in dealing with those situations inside the box.
“It’s a split-second decision that comes on to the player, and we need to make sure our guys get that right.”
County make the trip to Glasgow with a number of injury concerns, with defender Tom Grivosti definitely out with a hamstring injury and on-loan Hoops goalkeeper Ross Doohan ineligible to face his parent club.
Kettlewell feels no player in his squad can complain about a lack of action, and he added: “Nobody will be chapping my door. If you go through my squad, every player has had an opportunity, young and old.
“I’m more than happy to have one-to-ones with any player, whether it’s going to be a difficult conversation or I have to give good or bad news. It really doesn’t bother me.
“If you’ve had your opportunity and not taken it you have to look at yourself in the mirror – you can’t point the fingers in the blame culture we live in.
“The sooner you take responsibility yourself, the better you become on the pitch.”