County manager surprised by Livingston's poor start
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Ahead of the two sides meeting tomorrow, Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell says Livingston’s poor start to the Premiership season has taken him by surprise.
Livi finished above expectations last season, challenging for continental football and ending up comfortably in the top six.
Their fans would have been hoping that was a sign the club had kicked on to the next level, while most at the very least would have expected them to steer well clear of a relegation fight.
However, after the opening five games of the 2020/21 season Gary Holt’s side are bottom of the table with just two points to show for their efforts – draws against Motherwell and Rangers.
Although their point against Rangers did come at the Tony Macaroni Stadium, Livingston have not been their usual resilient self at home – as evidenced by the 4-1 humbling they received at the hands of Hibernian, and in particular Kevin Nisbet who scored three.
Kettlewell knows first- hand what Livi are capable of after conceding four to them on two separate occasions last season, and he says he is preparing for the threat he expects rather than what the form table shows.
“It’s uncharacteristic to see them conceding so many goals at home, but there have been a few changes in their group as well,” he said.
“The same thing doesn’t just keep happening season after season, whether you lose players, whether players switch off, numerous different factors can affect that.
“When you go and play Livingston at their place you’re always going to know you’ve been in for a proper game of football – that’s what the players will be bracing themselves for.
“I haven’t taken into account their points tally or previous results, I’m expecting to play against the same Livingston side we faced last season with a couple of tweaks due to personnel.
“One thing they do have is a brilliant energy and work ethic about them, and I believe personally that that can change their fortunes.”