Stuart Kettlewell insists he and co-manager Steven Ferguson are the men to take Ross County forward despite their relegation from the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Staggies failed to better Partick Thistle’s result on Saturday and were unable to climb off the foot of the table which ends a six-year stay in the top flight.
The two took charge at Ding-wall in March after a disastrous spell from Owen Coyle, who only took over in September after Jim McIntyre was sacked early on in the season.
County picked up just one win from the ten matches Kettlewell and Ferguson took charge of, but they are confident that despite the immediate uncertainty surrounding the club following relegation, they are up for the challenge.
“From our point of view we take this on the chin and then go back and start to think how this can move forward,” he said. “We will have our ideas, we will sit down with the chairman. It is well documented how good he has been with this football club and how much he has backed it. He has also backed myself and Steven to do a job going forward irrespective of today, and that’s one we are more than up for.”
The former Staggies midfielder is under no illusions just how difficult it will be to lead the club back into the top flight, with big clubs such as Dundee United still struggling to escape the Championship.
He said: “It’s very difficult. I have been a player in the league and it’s exceptionally hard.
“You see how competitive the game was [play-off semi-final between Livingston and United] and the contrast in style and all that stuff.
“It is very difficult and some big clubs haven’t come straight back up, but that’s the task we will set ourselves, we won’t hide from that.” Kettlewell conceded there will be decisions made on certain players who are likely to move on following relegation, but says the club will “come out fighting” despite the inevitable cuts.
Craig Curran’s third-minute finish had given County the perfect start but David Wotherspoon’s late effort proved enough to seal the Staggies’ fate. However, it did little to appease St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright, who saw his side finish the campaign in eighth.
It was a disappointing afternoon for Saints who were looking to send stalwarts Alan Mannus, Chris Millar, pictured, and Steven MacLean off in style before their summer departures, but despite his frustration with the performance, he was happy to get a point to send them off in the end.
“They are three players who have contributed a lot to the success we have had and three players that have done everything for me and given me everything, not only as players but as people,” he said. “I wish all three of them well.
“I know Macca has got Hearts and Al is going back home, hopefully Chrissy gets a club, so I wish them well.”