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Stuart Kettlewell: Starting places are still up for grabs at Ross County

Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell expects his players to maintain high levels of intensity in their Betfred Cup clash at Brechin.

County launched their new season with a 4-1 home win against Montrose in the competition on Saturday and Kettlewell declared starting places are still up for grabs.

“Without a shadow of doubt,” Kettlewell told the club’s official website. “Several guys are champing at the bit to get some game time and there will be changes.

“We’ll certainly mix a few things up like we said we would do to ensure everybody gets an opportunity to go and impress and stake a claim for getting themselves a starting jersey.”

Ross Stewart fired a brace in a comfortable win over Montrose, while Josh Mullin and Billy McKay were also on target.

“We take the competition extremely seriously,” Kettlewell added. “It’s a major cup competition in this country so it was good to get off to a good start.”

Michael Gardyne will not feature at Brechin. The winger missed out against Montrose after sustaining a knock to the foot he fractured in October and will be sidelined for up to two weeks.

Kettlewell also confirmed on-loan goalkeeper Nathan Baxter had returned to parent club Chelsea for treatment on a shoulder injury.