Ross County need to rediscover true character
STUART Kettlewell wants Ross County to show their true character in recovering from Saturday’s woeful defeat against Livingston.
The Staggies’ co-manager was dismayed by the manner of defeat in Dingwall as Livingston picked them off with three goals in the opening 26 minutes.
Ross Stewart kindled a glimmer of hope for County with a reply before the half time interval.
But a fantastic strike by Sheffield Wednesday loanee Jack Stobbs killed the match as a contest.
Kettlewell was clearly shocked by the lack of energy and spark in his side, but insisted the players and management took collective responsibility.
He said: “They were better than us in every facet on Saturday. There’s no disputing that.
“They got themselves three goals ahead before we’d even looked at the game. That came from not defending our penalty area – a basic failure to take responsibility for jobs set before the game.
“We all take responsibility for that – that’s not me standing and pointing a finger at the players alone.
“We get a glimmer of hope when we score before half time. Other than that, Livingston dominated. They kept us hemmed in our own half and kept turning us.
“Their energy was relentless – and we couldn’t deal with it.
“That’s something opponents are going to look for. They are going to see that potentially as a chink in our armour. We have to prove it’s not.”
With only three minutes gone, Keaghan Jacobs’ free kick found John Guthrie rising unmarked to turn an eight-yard header into the left side of the net.
After 14 minutes, steady away pressure paid off again as Jacobs found Steven Lawless who fired home.
The hosts’ problems piled up as they lost centre-half Liam Fontaine to injury, before Livingston struck the third after 26 minutes.
Again, it was Jacobs’ who delivered the telling ball with a cut-back finding Lyndon Dykes gleefully swiping a simple finish low into the net from eight yards.
The hosts found a glint of hope a minute before the break.
Good build-up play ended with Billy Mckay threading a pass into the box and Stewart cutting a shot into the far corner from the right side of the penalty area.
But home optimism was nipped in the bud after 52 minutes as Stobbs produced his stunning volley from 16 yards after a Lawless run and cross on the left.