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Kettlewell wants repeat performance from Ross against Hearts

Stuart Kettlewell wants a repeat performance from Ross County as the Staggies look to continue their perfect start to the new season.

The Staggies stormed through their Betfred Cup section with four straight wins and then backed that up by beating Hamilton in their Ladbrokes Premiership opener last weekend.

The 3-0 triumph over Accies was just the start Kettlewell and fellow co-manager Steven Ferguson were after.

Now Kettlewell has told the Dingwall squad he expects to see the same levels again when they take on Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday.

He told the County website: “It’s going to be difficult, I would be lying if I said otherwise. Hearts are an extremely strong side with great experience and will be right up for it after losing at Pittodrie last weekend.

“When you look at their squad and see Steven Naismith, Jamie Walker, Uche Ikpeazu – it’s one heck of a front line but equally we have to stand up and be counted and make sure that we prepare right for that challenge.

“Both Steven and I have said to the players that we set an excellent standard last weekend but now we have to build on that.

“There is no point in us going out and hitting those levels last weekend if we can’t maintain it.

“We have some good experienced leaders in the dressing room and they will help to funnel that message down and as long as we stick to our game plan, and are comfortable in what we can do, we give ourselves a chance on Saturday.”

Kettlewell has backed Norwich youngster Simon Power to bounce back stronger after the Canaries loanee suffered a hamstring injury that is set to keep him out for several weeks.

He said: “Simon is recovering well. At this stage in the season, all of the players are looking to find their feet and get a bit of consistency.

“Simon has had this wee setback but his attitude in dealing with it has been first class and I don’t think it will be too long before we see him back in the squad.”