Ross County: 'Feel-good factor' back as Ferguson, Kettlewell & Mckay win monthly awards

By Stephen CouseBBC Sport Scotland
Steven Ferguson, Stuart Kettlewell and Billy Mckay with their awards
Co-managers Steven Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell and striker Billy Mckay were awarded Championship Manager and Player of the Month for October

The "feel-good factor" is back at Ross County with the Highland club vying for an instant return to the top flight, says co-manager Steven Ferguson.

The Championship side are unbeaten in 11 games and lie second, three points behind leaders Ayr United.

Ferguson and Stuart Kettlewell have shared the manager of the month award for the second straight month, with Billy Mckay named Player of the Month.

"The way we see the players day-to-day, there is a feel-good factor," he said.

"People are enjoying their football, enjoying coming to their work, enjoying their training, and that has been reflected with the performances."

Ross County were relegated last season after finishing bottom of the Scottish Premiership, but Kettlewell says there is no sign of a relegation "hangover" from the Dingwall side.

"Our main focus was to make sure there was no hangover; you see a lot of clubs having a poor start to the Championship on the back of relegation," Kettlewell noted.

"We were delighted with the recruitment process, and we believe the form is down to a strong work ethic from the players, giving their best on a daily basis and showing that on a Saturday and getting results for the club."

Billy Mckay celebrates scoring
Billy Mckay celebrated a hat-trick against Morton last month

Striker Mckay scored eight goals in four games between 29 September and 27 October, including two hat-tricks.

"There was a transition period with the club going down but we've really gelled as a team - we're creating chances and not conceding goals, which has really helped me," he said.

"It's a great feeling when you know you're onto something special. There's a great bunch of lads who want to help each other and you need that to be successful."

'Double-barrelled rather than one spearhead figure'

Co-managers Ferguson and Kettlewell were each awarded a Manager of the Month trophy, and they believe their strong relationship is key to County's recent success.

"The chairman believes it works for the club, and most importantly myself and Steven have such a working relationship that we believed it would be right for us to do it as individuals who could come together," Kettlewell said.

"Most clubs have a manager and assistant; the way we look at it is that task is divided and we feel that with our experience and knowledge it comes together.

"We almost get it double-barrelled rather than one spearhead figure and it suits this football club, which has been proved to this point - the players, coaching staff and people who work around the club have all really responded to it."