Stuart Kettlewell: Ross County planned to get Tynecastle crowd on Hearts' backs

Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell revealed that a gameplan to turn the Tynecastle crowd against Hearts worked perfectly in the 0-0 draw.

Saturday, 10th August 2019, 5:46 pm
Stuart Kettlewell (right) was proud of Ross County's players in the 0-0 draw at Tynecastle.

The Hearts support jeered loudly at full-time and on occasions during the 90 minutes in the uninspiring display.

Had County substitute Brian Graham not struck an 82nd-minute penalty off the post, the afternoon would have ended in defeat for the home side.

Kettlewell outlined his pride and admitted his team were disappointed not to win in Edinburgh. "We asked the players to go and turn the crowd slightly and we all heard that happen today," he said.

"That shows you that you have been the team on top, the dominant team, for pretty much the entire game.

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"It's an example of the strides we've made to come to Tynecastle and be frustrated at drawing the game. That tells you a story.

"I've been involved with this club for a long time and that's as good a performance as I've seen from Ross County at Tynecastle. That shows the leaps we've made forward.

"Ultimately, there is a sense of frustration. Anybody who was at the game could see we deserved to win. Our organisation was terrific and we looked a real threat going forward. We just lacked that end product. We got the right players into the right positions but we just didn't get that vital goal.

"You think when the penalty comes late in the game that it's going to swing in your favour, but unfortunately Brian misses it. These things happen. We still felt from that point that we looked the stronger team and we could go and create another chance. It wasn't to be. There is no negative spin on this because it's been an excellent start to the season."

Kettlewell added that Graham won't be vilified for not converting from the spot. "We're all in this together. Strikers miss chances and penalties. We won't berate a player for missing a penalty. There were other good chances. It wasn't to be.

"That's not an acceptance of dropping two points. It's simply where we are at on this journey. We couldn't be more proud of our players on the back of several results before.

"Guys are down not to win a game at Tynecastle so we need to put this into perspective. We have been going for a year where everybody expects us to win the game. Today it's flipped on its head and we aren't expected to get anything. We need to deal with not having the favourites tag, which can be more difficult, and go and express ourselves."