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Stuart Kettlewell: Life without defeat is easy but adversity builds character

Celtic v Ross County – Pre-Season Friendly – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Stuart Kettlewell is happy with Ross County’s impressive start to the season but will continue to believe true character comes to the fore in adversity.

The Staggies have won two and drawn one of their opening three Scottish Premiership matches following the 2-2 home draw with Kilmarnock on Wednesday night.

Ahead of the visit of newly promoted Dundee United on Saturday, the County boss spoke about the current mood in Dingwall given the unbeaten start to the season.

Kettlewell said: “Anyone in sport, not just football, will tell you the environment is a good place.

“It is a bubbly place, there are smiles on faces when you are winning games of football, or on an unbeaten run like ourselves.

“I always think you see the characters and correct personalities when you lose games of football. So I believe this is the easy bit.

“I was the same as a player. I played with some brilliant team-mates when you are winning games and are a goal or two up.

“The ones that you look for to help you out of difficult situations are the guys who step forward and speak when you are losing, who are good team-mates and work that bit harder when things look as if they are going to go against you.

“It is something we always strive for, to see if we can eke that out of our players and develop that character.

“What the players hear from me on a daily basis is, ‘what is your reaction?’

“What is your reaction to bad news? Are you playing in the team?

“Are you coming off the pitch having lost the game? Lost possession of the ball?

“Everything I speak about in football is about how do you react to everything within the game.

“If you feel sorry for yourself in any of these situations then you have a problem and we have a problem.

“If you respond in a positive manner and show grit and determination, I often think you can dig yourself out a hole.

“It is a simple philosophy but one that I believe in. The players are probably fed up hearing me say the word reaction but I believe is an integral part of any group.”