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Derek Adams continues goal search with Ross County as Stuart Kettlewell prepares to return to Dingwall with Motherwell

By Alasdair Fraser

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Derek Adams knows Stuart Kettlewell’s name is written large in Ross County’s history.

The returning Staggies boss rates tonight’s opposite number as one of the key characters in County reaching the top flight the first time around.

Stuart Kettlewell (left) served as a player for almost five years under Derek Adams at Ross County
Stuart Kettlewell (left) served as a player for almost five years under Derek Adams at Ross County

Tonight in Dingwall, though, all that will be forgotten – for 90 minutes at least.

There will be nothing but appreciation from the home supporters for the Motherwell manager who served the club as player, coach, head of youth, co-manager and manager.

There will be a warm handshake from Adams, who valued the tough-tackling midfielder as a mainstay of the team that won the old First Division in 2011/12.

The pair worked together for the best part of five years after snapping him up from Clyde amid the Bully Wee’s financial strife of 2009.

Then, it was Adams who made the difficult decision to let him go in 2014.

The Dingwall boss said: “I signed Stuart here many years ago, and he has gone on to manage Ross County and now Motherwell.

“He helped us get promoted out of the Championship and into the Premier League.

“As a manager, you don’t get that sense from many players (of a future manager), but I think it is always nice to see many of your players go into management.

“You only have to look at Stuart himself, Jimmy Scott, Steven Craig, Colin McMenamin and Paul Lawson as well.

“It is good to see them progressing, not just in their coaching careers, but managerial careers too.”

Adams’ only real concern heading into the Motherwell match is maintaining recovery momentum after a 0-0 draw at home to Kilmarnock and a crucial 1-0 win at home to third top St Mirren.

“The win against St Mirren was really important for us, but we have got to be on it on Tuesday night,” he said.

“We have done really well, we have created chances, and now we just need to start taking these chances.”

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