No motivation of money for Stewart in Staggies contract talks, says Kettlewell – Press and Journal

Posted: October 30, 2020 at 5:53 am

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Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell will be understanding if striker Ross Stewart turns down a new Staggies deal to pursue a fresh challenge.

Stewart is in the final year of his Victoria Park contract, with County still to reach a breakthrough in discussions over a new deal.

County turned down several bids for the 24-year-old during the summer, with English Championship sides Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday, along with League One Shrewsbury Town, having shown interest.

Premiership rivals Aberdeen and Hibernian have also previously been linked with the forward, who has netted four goals in 14 appearances so far this term.

Stewart was brought to Dingwall from St Mirren when County were in the Championship in 2018, with Kettlewell revealing the terms on offer are a significant upgrade on his current deal.

Kettlewell is confident it will not be financially driven if Stewarts opts to leave, and he said: We want to sign Ross on a longer term contract.

We understand the interest, and we understand where he wants to go in the next phase of his career.

Ive said all along that I have a really good relationship with his agent, and Ive badgered him once or twice trying to get Ross to sign a new contract.

It will surprise people, Ross isnt on a massive contract at all at Ross County.

Money is not the object for Ross, but it also shows that theres plenty of ground there for us to improve it.

Its not the money though, its about the opportunity and where Ross wants to play in his career.

The contract hes on shows that there is no motivation of money from him, its all about the pathway for the next stage of his career.

Stewart ended his first top-flight campaign as Countys joint leading scorer on 11 goals last year, despite missing two months with a hamstring injury.

Should Stewart decide his future lies elsewhere, Kettlewell insists he would be intent on getting as much return as possible from the Irvine-born forward during the remainder of his stay in the Highlands.

Kettlewell added: I dont want to wish his contract away. If weve offered him a new contract I dont want to create any bad feeling about it, if thats what Ross wants to do Im not going to upset the apple cart for the time hes going to be here.

I want to get everything out of Ross that I possibly can, and history tells us thats a very good product over the last couple of years.

Ive said before that I will be the first guy to shake his hand and send him on his way if he starts hitting the net and becomes a pivotal player for us like he has been.

Im sure he will kick on again this season and do that, and then nobody would be happier than myself.

We have to accept that situation, but what we know is that he gives us everything hes got in training every day and in matches.

Stewart missed three excellent chances at key stages in Countys 4-0 loss to Motherwell on Saturday, however Kettlewell has backed his talisman to get back to form.

The County boss added: Even though he missed chances against Motherwell last weekend, theres nobody more annoyed about that than him.

Theres no point in me going over and criticising him for missing those chances, because hes more upset than anyone else.

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No motivation of money for Stewart in Staggies contract talks, says Kettlewell - Press and Journal

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October 30th, 2020 at 5:53 am

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