Chance for Ross County to move up table with good form from League Cup
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Stuart Kettlewell would like to see Ross County continue their Betfred Cup form into the Premiership when they travel to Kilmarnock this weekend.
The Staggies topped Group D after taking 11 points from their four matches, setting up a second-round tie against Celtic with comfortable victories over Elgin City and Stirling Albion.
Although those results came against lower league opposition, scoring seven goals and only conceding one, was a timely confidence boost.
Now, with league action back on the agenda at Rugby Park, Kettlewell hopes to transfer that level of play back into the Premiership to pick up valuable points.
“That has always been our intention – we’ve been speaking about guys hitting the back of the net, keeping clean sheets and how you can take that forward,” Kettlewell said.
“Kilmarnock have had a couple of good years in the league, and Rugby Park is a difficult venue to go to.
“We’ve certainly had a couple of good games, even looking back to the draw against Livingston before the two cup games, so the players have to be feeling good about themselves.
“You see how tight this league is as well, I’m a broken record saying it every week, but if you can go and piece together a couple of results, you can really change the nature of how the league looks.
“We’ve done well in the League Cup, so it’s important that we go and build on it now.”
With the league finely poised, how last season ended will be fresh in everyone’s minds as they look to pick up as many points as possible.
Five points separate Dundee United in fifth and Livingston in 10th, while St Mirren and Hamilton at the bottom both have games in hand.
Kettlewell, though, relishes the pressure that comes with such high stakes.
“We talk about the pressures of the Premiership, but that’s what we want,” he said.
“That’s the bit that we’ve all been asking for a long period of time, so I have no concerns there.
“We know it’s a difficult league, we know how hard it is to win games, but what I said to the players is that they had an opportunity in the cup to gain some confidence and score some goals.
“That obviously breeds confidence as well.
“There’s a lot of good confidence that has come off the back of the League Cup, and that will help us going to Kilmarnock on Saturday.”
Oli Shaw (groin), Ross Draper (calf), Michael Gardyne (ankle) and Connor Randall (hamstring) are all injury doubts.