Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell hopes the Staggies’ memorable Parkhead triumph can have a catalytic effect on their Premiership form.
County defeated the Hoops 2-0 at Parkhead in the Betfred Cup last weekend, with a quarter-final tie away to Livingston on December 16 standing in their way of a last four place at Hampden Park.
The injury-ravaged Staggies’ triumph was all the more impressive given they went into the game on the back of a poor run of league form, having not won any of their last seven Premiership games.
The Dingwall men now face another Old Firm test, when they welcome Rangers to Victoria Park tomorrow.
Although Kettlewell hopes his players enjoyed upsetting the odds in Glasgow, he feels the result will count for little unless they can back it up with a run of improved league form.
Kettlewell said: “We have to take great confidence. People will say Celtic are in bad form, and probably demean the achievement a little bit, but I certainly don’t and I don’t think the players can take that one lightly.
“It’s more about that momentum and what it means for us going forward.
“I don’t want us to be sitting resting on a good result at Parkhead. It needs to be that catalyst for where we go next.
“We know it has the potential to kick us on for the rest of the season. The focus probably has been on the situation at Parkhead off the back of Sunday, you could argue we could have had more plaudits for what we have done.
“It’s the job of myself and the staff to make the players aware they did a fantastic job on Sunday, but also to keep their feet on the ground and not get carried away.
“It is a big result, but it’s how we channel that into the coming games.”
Kettlewell initially joined County as a player in 2009, with the midfielder involved in his side’s run to the Scottish Cup final in his debut season with the then First Division club, which included a famous semi-final victory over Celtic at Hampden Park.
The 36-year-old was also part of Jim McIntyre’s coaching staff when the Staggies lifted the League Cup by defeating Hibernian in 2016.
Kettlewell is pleased the class of 2020 have created their own memory, but he feels they will savour it all the more if it has a strong effect on their subsequent form.
He added: “I think it ranks right up there. It has to go into that bracket with some of these amazing memories there have been here.
“When you outline Celtic’s 35 consecutive cup wins and their complete dominance of Scottish football for this last stretch, a lot of teams have had a crack at it, but to be the team to achieve that is massive.
“I take into equation the fact it’s our first victory at Parkhead, which for me has to be up there in that bracket of amazing moments we have had over the years.
🗣 “We won’t get carried away”
Callum Morris looks ahead to this weekends clash with League Leaders Rangers at the Global Energy Stadium. pic.twitter.com/keQ8mRuvQj
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) December 4, 2020
“The players get to think about that for the rest of their careers, but I stress again we want to try and build on that and add to it by making the next memory.
“We enjoyed it on Sunday night, we still felt good on Monday morning, but for us it’s about getting back to work and seeing if we can try and do something again on Sunday.”
County will host a crowd of 300 home supporters for the fourth time this season when the Gers make the trip north, with Kettlewell eager to give them something to cheer against the league leaders.
He added: “The demand has been crazy for supporters to come in and see this game, and hopefully we can put on another good show to keep that feel-good factor and want for people to get into grounds to support their club.”