The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Stag­gies duo chas­ing his­tory Pre­mier­ship: Safety first for Ket­tlewell but long-term plans are tak­ing shape

- BY ANDY SKIN­NER

Stu­art Ket­tlewell is in­tent on cre­at­ing his­tory with the Stag­gies in his ten­ure as co-man­ager along­side Steven Ferguson.

Ket­tlewell and Ferguson are now per­ma­nently in charge at Victoria Park af­ter im­press­ing chair­man Roy MacGre­gor dur­ing their in­terim stint which fol­lowed last month’s res­ig­na­tion of Owen Coyle.

The pair, who pre­vi­ously had key roles within County’s youth academy, have been given full con­trol of all lev­els of the club all the way through to youth level.

Both en­joyed suc­cess with the Stag­gies as play­ers, while Ket­tlewell led the un­der-20s side to the Devel­op­ment League title last sea­son.

Ket­tlewell is thrilled to have been given the chance to shape the club along­side Ferguson and hopes the Ding­wall side can pros­per un­der their watch, with the im­me­di­ate aim to steer County to Pre­mier­ship safety, hav­ing slipped a point adrift of Partick This­tle at the bot­tom of the ta­ble.

The 33-year-old said: “We all feel we have the same goal to strive for.

“We’re not go­ing to mask the fact we want that to be us cre­at­ing our own lit­tle bit of suc­cess and his­tory at the foot­ball club.

“A lot of good has hap­pened in the past and we don’t want to cut that off. You don’t for­get the his­tory of a foot­ball club. My­self and Steven have had lit­tle parts in it as well.

“It is purely about adding to that and see­ing if we can shape things in the way we want to. We feel this slight change in sys­tem in the foot­ball depart­ment, from top to bot­tom, will al­low us to do that.

“We feel it gives us a real clar­ity in what hap­pens from now on. We’re both ex­cited in the high-pres­sure situation. That’s a bit of a nov­elty.

“We’re fight­ing at the bot­tom of our league, fight­ing for sur­vival, and with that comes pres­sure but we’re plan­ners – guys who like to think about what we might be able to af­fect in the fu­ture.

“It has given us a chance to do that – to start think­ing about ways we can put our stamp on the foot­ball club, par­tic­u­larly in the first team.

“But we’re re­al­is­tic enough to know there’s the short-term goal there as well – sur­vival, with four games to go.”

Ferguson says de­ci­sion­mak­ing be­tween the pair will not be an is­sue, in­sist­ing any dis­agree­ment on foot­ball mat­ters will sim­ply lead to closer scru­tiny be­fore the fi­nal call is made.

The 40-year-old said: “It is new to ev­ery­one else, but not us – we’ve shared an of­fice for the last four years.

“We don’t just agree on ev­ery­thing – we fell out about an un­der-12s team mat­ter.

“But what we do is we leave it out there, we go and sleep on it, come back and look at it again.

“We both want the best for the foot­ball club and the end out­come. Some­times I’ll rein in what I’m say­ing, some­times Stu­art will, for the com­mon cause.”

 ??  ?? TO THE POINT: Stu­art Ket­tlewell hopes he and co-man­ager Steven Ferguson can bring suc­cess to Ross County
TO THE POINT: Stu­art Ket­tlewell hopes he and co-man­ager Steven Ferguson can bring suc­cess to Ross County
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