ANGELO ALESSIO is demanding a major reaction from his Kilmarnock players in Dingwall tomorrow after a chastening 3-0 defeat at Livingston last week.

However, the Rugby Park manager accepts that they will have to work hard to cope with the considerable threat of Ross Stewart.

The Italian knows the giant striker is the Staggies’ main danger after he slammed a double in the 2-1 win over Hibs nine days ago and also netted against Celtic the Sunday before.

His aerial power will be something Killie have to deal with as they try to recover from a shocking defeat in West Lothian to hold onto their top six status.

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But Alessio is also looking for a major reaction from what was the worst result of the season – since their humiliating European exit at the hands of Welsh side Connah’s Quay back in July.

He said: “Ross County won last week and they will be more confident now.

“This is a big challenge for us now but at the same time I want to see our progress. It’s a tough game and I want to see my team respond.

“They have some good players. Ross Stewart is tall and strong and scored a lot of goals. But they have other players who make them a good team.

“At the moment my focus is our team. We have to understand our dimension. We have to work harder.”

Alessio says he is not about to make wholesale changes, giving his Tony Macaroni Arena flops the chance to redeem themselves.

He said: It’s difficult to change a lot after a bad result. That’s too simple to say ‘okay we will change five or six players’. That’s not good.

“I want to reflect on some positions on the pitch and some players. I have two days to decide.

“Our skills are to fight and battle and not be easy to beat. It’s important to understand our dimension.

“The commitment is good but the performances in general have not been so we have to give more.”

Alessio believes it is a test of character for his team, in a similar way to the early part of the campaign when Killie struggled to get to grips with his ways.

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They have only one once in the last seven matches having only lost once in their previous eight matches.

The former Juventus No2 said: “I think that’s important for us to stay in top six. But we have to work to stay there because other teams want to beat us for that reason.

“We have to work more. It’s a difficult moment like at the beginning of the season. We have to stay compact.

“We change little things because it’s important to work at other situations. Sometimes it’s things you see in the game. Sometimes it’s about creating opportunities to score.”

Alessio was also coy on impending recruitment with the window due to open in 19 days’ time, insisting that the current squad must deal with what is in front of them first before he makes any decisions.

He added: “At the moment our focus is game by game. The players know they have to work 100 per cent for the team.

“Then in January anything can happen but for now our focus is only on the next match.”