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Motherwell caretaker manager Stuart Kettlewell has loved getting his teeth into a relegation battle again.

Kettlewell led Ross County to the Championship and Challenge Cup double and then Premiership safety during his two full seasons in co-charge in Dingwall, along with Steven Ferguson, and it was the latter achievement that fulfilled him more.

Kettlewell took interim charge of Motherwell after the departure of Steven Hammell and led them to a 2-1 Premiership win over St Mirren on Wednesday, their first in 12 matches.

He now gets the chance to back that up with Sunday’s visit of Hearts, where another positive result could potentially see him asked to continue in the role.

Speaking about his return to the hotseat, the Lanarkshire club’s lead development coach said: “I have loved it. I love a challenge.

“A lot of people you will speak to in football really enjoy a challenge and ‘I want to be in the mix and do this and that’ or ‘I can do this and that’. I love a challenge and I always have done.

“Going back to being a player and coach and a manager, sometimes in these positions, I have probably relished that more.

“I have been in a position of trying to win a league before and that’s a different challenge and a different pressure.

“But I can honestly say I have always relished being in a relegation situation as a player, coach and manager. I have always really enjoyed the challenge that comes with it.”

Motherwell are understood to have spoken to Ian Holloway and Grant McCann about the managerial vacancy, but Kettlewell could find himself tasked with protecting the Steelmen’s 38-year top-flight status.

He said: “I think I am a pretty enthusiastic guy and, from that point of view, it’s been great.

“Who knows where it moves going forward, but I came in here with a job to do and came in with equal enthusiasm, working with the 18s and reserves, so that is not going to change for me one way or another.”