Ross County star Harry Paton has blasted his side’s “unacceptable” lack of fight in the build-up to Sunday’s clash with Celtic in the Betfred Cup.

The Staggies are already missing a number of key players for the tie, and Canadian Paton has urged his youthful teammates to show more desire ahead of his team’s trip to the East End of Glasgow.

Kilmarnock v Ross County - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Speaking to the Ross-shire Journal, Paton insisted lessons had to be learned from a disappointing result against 10-man Kilmarnock last Saturday:

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We were a really young team at Kilmarnock, but that shouldn’t have affected us. Experience might have a positive effect, but whichever 11 players are used on the pitch, we really need them all to perform.

We moved the ball from side to side well but we never really penetrated. We weren’t ruthless going forward.

Goals from Brophy, Kabamba and a stoppage time finish from Burke were enough to see Alex Dyer’s Kilmarnock past Ross County, despite losing former Celt Stuart Findlay after an early sending off.

With a tie against Neil Lennon’s out-of-form Celtic on Sunday, Patton was keen to point to past positive results for Ross County.

 

We are not favourites to win that game but we are going to give it everything we have.

We are away from home but we will go there to compete and try to get through this round.

It will be tough, but we will see what happens. In games like this you have to be better than the guy you are up against.

Injury concerns for both sides

Celtic can consider a return to a back three when the likes of Christopher Jullien return

Celtic defender Christopher Jullien / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

While Ross County are missing a significant number of first-team regulars for the fixture, there are injury problems for both clubs.

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Celtic will be without the services of striker Leigh Griffiths, although Jullien and Elhamed could find themselves in the thick of things at the weekend, following returns from injury against Sparta Prague.

It’s another massive game for Celtic and Neil Lennon.

That match kicks off at 14:00 and it’s live on Premier Sports.

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