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Kettlewell believes pressure will be on Ross County to entertain fans watching from home early in Premiership campaign


By Alasdair Fraser

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Stuart Kettlewell admits the onus will be on Ross County to put on a show and entertain their supporters on the new live TV channel for virtual season ticket holders.

The Staggies’ manager told how the release of the Premiership fixture list had sent a frisson of excitement through the squad and staff as the reality of an imminent return to action hit home.

He also acknowledged that, on paper at least, the matches had fallen kindly for County with no Old Firm meetings in the first six matches and three of the first four games coming at Victoria Park.

But Kettlewell stressed there would be pressure on County to prove the fixtures were favourable by returning results and also in making it an engaging experience for the fans watching at home.

“We said the same thing last year – it is only a good run of fixtures if we capitalise on it,” Kettlewell said.

Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell will challenge his players to prove they can perform for the cameras, behind closed doors. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell will challenge his players to prove they can perform for the cameras, behind closed doors. Picture: Ken Macpherson

“Yes, on paper, I can go and say to the players this is terrific, we’ve got three home games in the first four, but the onus is really on us to put on a show.

“We had a conversation this week with the chairman.

“There is excitement about the virtual season ticket and the quality of production there is going to be, but the pressure then comes on us to go and try to perform.

“I watched Tottenham against Everton recently and it would put you to sleep.

“The day before, I watched Manchester City against Southampton and it was a proper football match and spectacle.

“We know there’s a fair chance spectators won’t be in there with us to begin with, so we will have to try to create some sort of spectacle in these first three home games, capture the imagination of our supporters and see if we can build a bit of momentum.

“Hopefully, that home advantage works in our favour and we can get off to a good start.”

County kick off behind closed doors at home to Motherwell on Monday, August 3 at 7.45 pm, with action screened live on Sky TV and the new club channel.

They then visit Hamilton on Saturday, August 8 before returning home to play Kilmarnock on Wednesday 12 and Dundee United the following Saturday.

Three of County's first four games of the 2020/21 season are at home.
Three of County's first four games of the 2020/21 season are at home.

August will be completed with matches away to St Mirren and Livingston before the first international break.

“From the point of view of everyone involved in Scottish football, the release of the fixtures just marks the way forward for us all,” Kettlewell said.

“We genuinely hope we can meet all the requirements in the lead up to the start of August, but it’s good to actually see it on paper and start to build a plan for our players and staff.

“It’s always an exciting day for everybody at the best of times, but I think when we’ve had such a famine in football terms in Scotland for the last four months it was a really positive day for us all.

“The players and staff had a real buzz about the place on Monday, and we just really want to get cracking.

“We are looking at a group of players who are fit and ready to go. We still have a couple of weeks and we need to try and keep ourselves on an even keel and make sure we hit the ground running.

“Just to see Ross County in the Premiership again is a brilliant achievement. We’ll look to see if we can do what we’ve done for many a year, which is punch well above our weight.”

Read the full edition of today's Ross-shrie Journal here.


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