Ross County co-manager Stuart Kettlewell insists he is relaxed about the strong form of their Championship title rivals Dundee United.
United’s 4-2 victory over Alloa Athletic on Tuesday saw them move two points clear of the Staggies but the Dingwall men have the opportunity to reclaim second place with a victory in their game in hand against Dunfermline tomorrow.
The Tannadice men are unbeaten with five victories from six matches since Robbie Neilson replaced Csaba Laszlo last month, including a 1-0 victory over County at Victoria Park a fortnight ago.
Kettlewell says the Tangerines’ recent upsurge has not been cause for alarm, despite the Staggies taking just two points from their last three league fixtures.
Kettlewell said: “It is no different from what we expected at the start of the season.
“Everyone seemed to get lost in battering Dundee United because they were going through arguably a bad spell under the previous manager and it was all doom and gloom.
“The new manager came in and they’ve had a bit of a bounce, winning five out of the six Robbie has been in charge for.
“That’s good form for them but this division is just going to throw up so many twists and turns. Who is to say they don’t go on a bad run?
“We’ve had, hopefully, what we think was our bad spell but nobody knows what is around the corner.
“From week to week, teams go from a high to a low and back up to a high. That’s how it will be through the rest of the season.”
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County’s loss against United was their first home defeat of the campaign, and Kettlewell says his players are determined to bounce back when they face the Pars in what will be their first league outing since.
Kettlewell added: “I think it probably hurt the players losing their first home game of the season.
“It hurt the management, certainly, but we could see their reaction – they were disappointed.
“This has been an exceptionally hard place to come since the start of the season and that’s where we’re looking to catapult ourselves on again.
“It is obviously disappointing but we can’t get lost in that too much. That’s gone. There were grievances and disappointments within it but we need a fresh start again.
“We’ve said all along that runs in this division are all-important. Things will start to look really good if you piece together, not just unbeaten runs but winning runs.
“We managed to do that for a good chunk there and we want to try to go on another long, unbeaten run.
“We know how difficult that will be, but we have to start somewhere – and Dunfermline on Saturday is the first opportunity.”