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Stuart Kettlewell wants Ross County to show their mettle

Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell has challenged his team to show the character to bounce back from their last-gasp blow against Motherwell.

County led with nine minutes left but suffered an agonising finale as Ross MacIver, who they released last summer, scored a spectacular equaliser before Declan Gallagher headed a winner in the dying seconds from a disputed corner.

The Dingwall side now round off 2019 with a trip to Perth to face in-form St Johnstone.

Kettlewell said: “We have asked questions about our levels of consistency, so we have to bounce back from that and show a real strength of character.

“I felt we showed that in spade-loads against Motherwell, so we have to make sure we are ready to go and play again.

“We will make sure our players are prepared as best we possibly can be and we look forward to the game.

“We are going to have to show a real sense of character to go down to Perth and win the three points. But we have seen major signs we are well capable of doing so.”

County have had a difficult festive period after securing consecutive wins earlier in December.

A sickness bug destroyed their preparations ahead of a 4-0 defeat at Livingston and Lewis Spence’s red card meant extra work for his team-mates to hold on against Motherwell.

But Kettlewell is sure they will have enough to go again at McDairmid Park.

“There is very little in the way of training,” he said. “It’s just a case of making sure we know what we are playing against and we know what the gameplan is.

“We need to try and get the players as fresh as they possibly can be.

“We never use that as an excuse, the more you can reel out games the better. You start to find that level of consistency.

“You see some of the top teams doing it constantly over the course of the season, so I believe we are equipped well enough to do so.”