Ross County manager Kettlewell worries no friendlies would increase risk of injury at start of Premiership season
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Stuart Kettlewell is calling for Scottish Government clarity on when Ross County can play closed doors friendlies.
The Staggies’ manager fears a lack of warm-up matches before early August’s Premiership kick-off could put his players at added injury risk.
Amid stringent Covid-19 testing, County have resumed full contact training, but Kettlewell knows intra-squad bounce matches are no substitute for proper friendlies.
Most of Scotland’s 12 top-flight clubs plan to play each other behind closed doors from as early as Saturday, if given the green light. Celtic and Rangers are eyeing friendlies in France.
As the North Star went to press, permission had yet to be been given at government level and Kettlewell admitted: “I’m tearing my hair out. I’m just off the phone to Motherwell’s Stephen Robinson and he’s in the same boat.
“We’ve got a game arranged in principle, it’s just whether we’re given the opportunity.
“I need to be clever and not shout my mouth off saying it’s wrong. We just have to take advice from the powers that be. As always, we have a plan B.”
County, used to summer trips to the Netherlands, Spain and Hungary in recent years. Northern Ireland looks the likeliest destination this summer.
Less than four weeks from County’s first competitive fixture against Motherwell, Kettlewell harbours genuine concerns for his players if restrictions aren’t eased.
He added: “With sports science and the medical side of football, it’s all about exposing yourself to scenarios you’re going to get in a competitive game.
“The only way we can create that is by finding different opposition for a semi-competitive game. We’ve tried to do it ourselves with very competitive 60 or 75 minutes games at a real good tempo.
“But the players will tell you themselves that you need different opposition and different challenges.”
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