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  1. Last week
  2. Welcome home Robbo! Inverness Caledonian Thistle have announced that their new manager will be a familiar face. It's thirteen years since he last managed at the Caledonian Stadium but he's back. It's Robbo who has emerged from the silence of the boardroom to be named as the man given the task of getting Inverness back into the Premiership, something he achieved thirteen years ago. John Robertson has been here before and was in charge when we were promoted to the top league in 2004, but not before some ammendments to the rules that saw stadium criteria altered in favour of smaller clubs, much to the annoyance of Partick Thistle at the time who were set to benefit from these archaic rules. Robertson began his full managerial career at Inverness in 2002 before returning to Tynecastle two years later having got Inverness promoted to the Scottish Premier League in season 2003/2004, when we pipped Clyde on the final day to send the helicopter flying North to Inverness with the silverware. What a day that was! He was lured to Tynecastle in November 2005, but when the new regime arrived, Robbo was deemed surplus to requirements. After leaving Hearts in 2005 amid the management takeover, Robertson had short spells at Ross County, Livingston and Derry City. Robbo took over at Bayview in 2010. The highlight of his tenure at Methil saw East Fife knock Aberdeen out of the Scottish Communities League Cup on penalties. Robertson was an enthusiastic coach first time round, but his lack of managerial positions in recent years has some fans reserving judgement. However, I'm sure we all wish him the best of luck in this appointment as he will need to get back up to speed pretty quickly given that the season kicks off with a League Cup game at home to Brechin City on Saturday 15th July. Early statement from the Board at Inverness Caledonian Thistle Inverness Caledonian Thistle are today delighted to announce John Robertson as their new Manager. Chairman Willie Finlayson commented "we had an excellent interview process with some strong candidates but John emerged as our unanimous choice. We were hugely impressed with his tremendous drive, determination, communication and motivational skills. He clearly has a great knowledge of the game in Scotland and is both well respected and connected. We firmly believe he is the right man to lead us back into the Premier League. We would also like to thank Hearts for their very professional approach. John was doing a great job for them but they recognised his desire to get back into the dug out." More to follow as this breaking news unfolds.................... The repercussions of relegation don't come alone and staff reductions are becoming apparent as the new regime begins to shape the way forward. u20 coach Duncan Shearer has been removed from the payroll with Inverness not continuing with a development squad whilst in the championship division. Varying reports that this has become rather messy are clouding the issue, but Duncan Shearer has told the P&J that he is no longer required by the club. From P&J Shearer Leaving. Statement from ICTFC Shearer Leaving. It appears that Brian Rice will remain as assistant with Scott Kellagher as another coach.
  3. Earlier
  4. Foran going is only good if they get the right manager and are willing to pay the right price. If not I will do it for nothing because basically I am useless and cheap,
  5. Annus Horribilis Endum Relegationus Our Annus has at last ended in relegation after we defeated Motherwell 3-2, but Hamilton thumped Dundee to ensure they live to fight another day. The inevitable happened, albeit later than most of us expected, but after getting some false hope in midweek, the great escape was called off before half-time with Accies 2-0 up at the interval. So, the worst team in the league got their just reward, automatic relegation. A lot of unhappy bunnies at full-time with many fans turning their anger to the board, or more specifically the lack of action from the board and a rookie manager who will be made the scapegoat in all of this. Foran was given the role by a board which we all hoped would work out. When it never happened the board did nothing. When it all went tits up the board did nothing. The silence from the board is deafening and the stench of relegation will linger around for a long time. Anyway, congratulations to Accies who took the pressure and went about their business the right way. For us, it's championship football next season with no guarantee that we will bounce back. Bigger clubs than us have found it's tough to get out of this league and float around the championship for several years. However, that's the position we find ourselves in and we just have to get on with it. Foran fielded the same side that started against Dundee and a big crowd turned out to see if the impossible would happen. Motherwell were without the departing Scott McDonald, but Louis Moult made the starting XI. It was a cagey opening half for us and we looked nervous, afraid to make the errors that would see us relegated. It took 23 minutes for us to feel uneasy as news filtered through that Accies had taken the lead. The frustration doubled two minutes later as Accies bagged a second and we all knew it was game over. It looked as though the players knew something was wrong as the first half was poor, and heads were dropping, but in all honesty it was the same fare we have been treated to all season, so nothing new there. Despite the poor first half, we did create the best opportunities and Laing fired a long range effort that worked the keeper. Polworth skewed wide and Draper opened his body too much when he should have found the top corner. However, Motherwell did look slicker than us for the most part which in itself was a tad worrying. Half-Time 0-0 We needed goals and upped the pace after the break but had Raven to thank for clearing what looked like a netbound effort away from goal. Dougie Imrie sealed our fate when he scored a third for Accies from the spot in the 56th minute. Relegation assured, and Just when it looked as though we had run out of ideas, we hit Well with a triple whammy. Greg Tansey punched the air in delight as his parting gift was a goal rifled across the keeper in the 64th minute. Three minutes later and Alex Fisher had us 3-0 ahead. It mattered not a jot though although the goals were pleasing. Motherwell beavered away and were rewarded with a couple of goals, one from sub James McFadden and a late penalty from Bowman. Full Time 3-2 Many fans had seen enough long before the end and may have missed Well's mini revival, but they fell just short of utterly ruining our day completely although relegation was punishment enough for a season of dross. I'll stick to comments regarding the game for now and my MotM goes to Iain Vigurs who looked assured on the ball, the one player who looked to have class in abundance on a dark day for the club. Greg Tansey also impressed in his final game before joining Aberdeen. However, it's not just about this one game, the whole season has been littered with failures, from top to bottom and that is why we are going down. It has taken twenty-two years to build this club into a force to be reckoned with. It's only taken one year to demolish it and set us back fifteen years. ICT v Motherwell Foran Interview on BBC Sport I'm not sure about bad apples, but something is rotten to the core. As someone commented somewhere, "Budapest to Brechin in just two years............... See you all next season in the Championship Date: 20/05/2017 Venue: Caledonian Stadium, Inverness Attendance: 5351 Referee: Craig Thomson Inverness CT: 3 Lineup: Esson, Brad Mckay, Warren, Laing, Raven, Polworth (Mulraney 77), Tansey, Draper, Vigurs (McNaughton 83), Fisher, Billy Mckay. Subs (not used): Hoban, Cole, Anier, Boden, McCart. Scorers: Tansey (64), Fisher (66,67) Booked: none Sent Off: none Motherwell: 2 Lineup: Griffiths, Cadden, Heneghan, McHugh, Hammell, Clay, Campbell, Ainsworth (Livingstone 56), Moult (McFadden 73), Frear, Gordon (Bowman 67) Subs (not used): Turnbull, Lasley, Jules, Pain, Scorers: McFadden (73), Bowman (pen 93) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
  6. Survival Saturday It's squeaky bum time as Motherwell visit the Caledonian Stadium for game 38 in the Premiership. Who knew we would still have a chance to remain in this division after the season we have suffered. Thanks to a stirring performance on Wednesday night, we defeated Dundee, and that result brings us to squeaky bum Saturday. Hold on to your seats folks. Yes, it's still possible to make the play off final. That in itself would be a major feat, but it will be an extremely difficult opponent that will await the second bottom side with Dundee United or perennial challengers Falkirk waiting to ambush the unlucky side. ***Latest News*** United defeat Falkirk 2-1 (agg 3-4) after coming from behind to book their place in the Play-Off Final. With Accies losing a late goal to County on Tuesday night, that gave Inverness the impetus to go out and have a go at Dens Park. We did this with some authority and scored two goals inside ten minutes to create this phenomenon. Motherwell made their season safe with an excellent 3-1 win over Kilmarnock and justified their decision to remove Mark McGhee from his position. Caley Jags fans were gobsmacked by the fighting qualities and confidence displayed against Dundee. The defence won everything in their own box and we looked confident and assured. The mystery is why has it taken a whole season to come out with a result and performance like this. This was only our third clean sheet of the season in the League. What a time to do it. Motherwell away was one of our clean sheet games when we smacked them 3-0 back in October. Tremarco, Doumbouya and Polworth were the scorers that day. Only Polworth will be available for selection this time around. The other two games against Well have ended in defeat, 4-2 at Fir Park and a disappointing 2-1 reverse at the Caledonian Stadium, despite dominating most of the game. Motherwell have two wins since the split, that's the same as us. Well have won on their last three visits to Inverness. We have not kept a clean sheet at home in our last seven games. So, it's come down to this. It's all or nothing. Only a win will benefit us as long as Hamilton do not win against Dundee. If we can show the same confidence that was on display at Dens Park then we will give ourselves a chance, something that looked a long way off a month or two ago. Richie Foran said we have no fresh injuries ahead of this crucial game and Scott Boden will be fit enough to be included in the squad. Josh Meekings, Aaron Doran and Owain Fon Williams are all long term casualties. Stephen Robinson had an extra day to rest his players after beating Killie. However he does have some problems ahead of this clash. Scott McDonald is leaving Motherwell at the end of the season and will not feature at Inverness. Fellow striker Louis Moult is also reported to be struggling with an injury. Craig Samson, Stephen Pearson, Stephen McManus, Richard Tait, Jacob Blyth, Jack McMillan, Lee Lucas and Ross MacLean are all out. If we can believe that all of these are out then it's like one of our injury lists. tm4tj prediction:- You won't get a prediction out of me for this one. Suffice to say I am bricking it. However, after that confident, assured and clinical display against Dundee, more of the same would not go amiss. I'll say no more, it's time for the talking to stop and let the action on the park speak for all of us. Mon the Caley Jags.
  7. Not over yet. Inverness came out of the blocks flying with a hint of intent, and after only two minutes Billy Mckay opened the scoring from close range. Things got even better when Alex Fisher knocked in number two after ten minutes. Inverness could have stretched their lead in the first period but Ryan Esson came to the rescue just before half-time to keep it 0-2 at the break. The second half offered less opportunities and the Inverness defence coped well with Dundee's attacks. This was a massive result and one which left the fans wondering where has this result been all season. A clean sheet to boot, well done Richie and the guys. Richie Foran talked to BBC Sport after the final whistle. He said we were magnificent defensively, won almost every ball into the box. Same again for Saturday. Great win, especially for the supporters. The players had a great attitude all week, confidence was high and we look forward to a massive game on Saturday. Pressure is now on Hamilton. The side were met with an enthusiastic and larger than normal vocal backing as we took to the park. Foran put the much maligned Iain Vigurs into the middle of the system to add some much needed creativity, and it worked well with Vigurs supplying some teasing balls forward. Billy Mckay almost scored in the first minute when he shut down Scott Bain but his block on the delayed clearance bounced just wide. He would not be denied moments later when he pounced on a lay-off from Liam Polworth to drill the ball low past the keeper from 12 yards. The perfect start for the Caley Jags in their quest to remain in the Premiership. The evening got even better for the visitors in the 10th minute when Iain Vigurs chipped a wonderful ball into the box from central midfield. There was plenty to do and I'm sure the Dundee defenders thought that as well. Undaunted, Alex Fisher controlled the ball on his head and as it fell he swivelled and volleyed a spectacular shot behind a stunned keeper. What a goal. It would not have looked out of place in the Nou Camp. Fisher passed up on an easier chance when he directed a header wide form a good cross by Brad Mckay. He should have made the keeper work at least but he will be forgiven after his stunning goal earlier. Paul McGowan fired one wide as Dundee woke up and Liam Polworth went close at the other end. Darren O'Dea headed over as Dundee picked up the pace but Inverness were playing with a new found confidence and looked composed all over the park, dealing with the Dark Blues comfortably. Cammy Kerr broke into the box but slashed his shot wide under pressure and the game went into overdrive with opportunities coming at both ends. In truth, Dundee could have had no complaints if they had found themselves four down before the interval, although Ryan Esson made a tremendous block close to the break after Nick Ross did well to slip in Haber. Half Time 0-2 After the interval we kept control of the game without being so prominent in our opponents half. At the back we were first to every ball and restricted Dundee to half chances. Mark O'Hara could have done better with a header but he nodded it straight at Esson who scooped it up comfortably. At the opposite end Brad Mckay directed a header to the top corner but Bain had enough time to pluck it out of the air. As the game wore on, Foran went for safety and replaced attacking options with defenders with Dundee desperate to take something from the game. However we were equally determined to hold onto our clean sheet, only our third of the season and the decision to hold what we had proved to be the right one as the home side were kept at arms length as the game came to a close. Full Time 0-2 What a shot in the arm this was. It was as welcome as it was unexpected, but thoroughly deserved. We did most of our productive work early which left Dundee chasing the game and they never fully recovered from our opening blitz. Tremendous shift from everyone with Iain Vigurs being the pick of the bunch. Great work by Esson and the defence to keep the clean sheet and two fantastic goals to set up this lifeline. Superb backing from the visiting fans who backed the team to the hilt. All to do again on Saturday in another must win game. Can we do it, yes we can, there is life in the team after all. Date: 17/05/2017 Venue: Dens Park, Dundee Attendance: 5574 Referee: Kevin Clancy Dundee: 0 Lineup: Bain, Kerr, Gomis (Higgins 45), O'Dea, Holt, Vincent, Ross, O'Hara, McGowan, El Bakhtaoui (Wighton 72), Haber (Ojamaa 55). Subs (not used): Williams, Dryden, Ferie, Smith. Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Esson, Brad Mckay, Warren, Laing, Raven, Polworth, Tansey, Draper, Vigurs (McCart 89), Fisher(McNaughton 85), Billy Mckay (Anier 66) Subs (not used): Hoban, Mulraney, Cole, Ebbe. Scorers: Billy Mckay (2) Alex Fisher (10) Booked: Vigurs, Anier Sent Off: none a
  8. Last throw of the last throw of the last dice in the last chance saloon. Yes, it's win or bust. The time has now come for the must win games. Anything else and it's relegation for us automatically as the worst team in the Scottish Premiership. With Hamilton losing to Ross County last night thanks to a last minute winner, we can close the gap to just one point, but to do that we have to win at Dens Park, not something that we are too familiar with at the moment. Defeat on Saturday at Kilmarnock has put us at the point of no return. With Motherwell beating Accies, that keeps them away from bottom spot. Our only hope now is that Accies hit the bottom to deny us outright relegation. However, the situation is clear cut now. Only Inverness and Hamilton can go down from the Premiership. What has to be decided is who goes down automatically. Dundee continued unbeaten under Neil McCann after coming from behind to earn a draw at home to Ross County. It looks as though the removal of Paul Hartley has given the Dee renewed confidence and belief. The Dark Blues sit nine points above Inverness in the table and have all but secured their status in the top flight for another season. Jake McPake and Julen Extabeguren are out, but Neil McCann reckons the rest of his squad will be fit for this encounter. Richie's possible last throw of the dice will be without Owain Fon Williams, Josh Meekings and Aaron Doran. Story of the season really, injuries at crucial times have crippled us in more ways than one. Alex Fisher is hopeful of recovery after a head knock. tm4tj prediction:- We have not won in our last three visits to Dens Park and we lost our last one, which was the first defeat against Dundee in eighteen games. It's been typical of our season, setting new standards since Richie Foran took over. Unfortunately that standards are at the bottom end of the scale and will not be remembered fondly. I see nothing in our recent displays to suggest that we can beat Dundee in this critical game. We have players capable of giving so much more, but they have been let down higher up the ladder. Only a win is much use to us. I can't see that happening, sadly. However, whilst we still have a glimmer of hope, I wonder if we can dig ourselves out of this hole we have got ourselves into. Fingers crossed.
  9. Almost there. Inverness took a massive step towards the Championship with another defeat. This time it was Kilmarnock who inflicted the pain as we struggled to get back on level terms having gone two goals down through Longstaff and Jones. Alex Fisher grabbed a goal but despite a frantic finish to the game we failed to get a point and relegation looks to be imminent. Immortal Howden Ender witnessed this one and his report is here.............. Well I travelled with forlorn hope and a fair degree of trepidation. But that still did not stop me and my 146 compatriots from sitting in the away stand, cheer on the boys and hope for some salvation. My only negative thought at the start was the inclusion of Anier but otherwise I was quite happy with the first team choice. Fisher has deserved his chance and may have been a more polished player if he had been given a run early. He had a clear cut chance in the 2nd minute, through on goal, 1-1 with McDonald and he totally fecked it up. If he had kept his composure, as he did 69 minutes later then it may have been a different story. So we have a plastic pitch. We are playing in to the wind and the driving rain. Killie know the surface and they play tippy tappy at the back, use the width, take people on and are patient. Us we hoof at every opportunity. Billy Mckay must wonder what the feck is going on. Anier offers sod all and Mulraney has an off-day but rarely gets a ball at his feet or a pass to run on to. The clear tactic was to feckin hoof it. And for the second time away from home Esson makes the second big error (OK there were 2 errors) of his belated season and gifts the first goal to Longstaff. Just what we did not need. You could see some heads go down at that time. Have to say that I was really impressed by Frizell, Jones and Wilson. If we had that three playing for us we would have hammered them. But we have Foran and the hoof. So half time comes along and you think lets have a go. But God lets us down again. The wind dies down, the rain stops and some feckin sunshine comes out. And as if that wasn’t bad enuff we hook Mulraney for Vigurs. We put Draper up front and we switch Fisher to wide right midfield. Yes wide right midfield !! Foran complained about our defending for the second but I thought it was tidy lead up play and a very tidy finish by Jones who had tormented Brad all day long. And guess who had the two long range shots on target – of course – David Raven !! Anier goes off, 58 minutes too late, and gets replaced by Polworth who never got into the game. Not sure exactly where he was playing though. And then we hook Draper and take on Cole. BUT we put Cole on the left BUT keep Fisher on the wide right and put Mckay up front on his own. We pack feckin midfield with the lackadaisical Vigurs and Tansey with Polworth running around like a headless chicken. But as the chants against Foran begin to grow we put ourselves back in the game. Great pass from Vigurs and Fisher tucks it away very neatly, 69 minutes too late. Lee McCulloch summed it up nicely – “The last 10 minutes were a bit nervy but we got there in the end.” We began to show the desire and fight that we should have been showing for weeks, nay months. No player can be faulted for endeavour in the last 15 minutes. Killie looked shell shocked and took their feet off the pedal. And wee Billy could have got us that desperately needed point with a glorious lob which would have been a goal of the season contender if it went in. We actually started playing football as well. Alas too late. And Foran summed up the day – “I'm delighted with the players' performance, believe it or not. I told them they should be proud of themselves, how they handled the occasion.” Well he must have just been watching the last fifteen minutes and had forgotten the deplorable first 45. And then "Individual mistakes have cost us again. The only disappointing part is the second goal. Jones has so much space to run at us. It's a set-piece for us, they break and score - that's schoolboy defending but overall we were the far better team and had far better chances.” – DOH – wrong goal – and we deserved a point and that would have been a bit of a robbery. “We didn't get what we deserved and that was the three points, in my mind. We need to cut out the individual mistakes, it's been the story of the season.” – Yes agree about the individual mistakes and add it has been the story of MY season. Some players do NOT play for you. And then he concludes as a modern day Lazarus – “We need help from other clubs now, simple as that. We need to do our business on Wednesday and Saturday. There is still a chance. It is probably a small chance, but there is a chance." – WTF !! No Smileymometer but here are my conclusions. Esson did OK but that one mistake early doors killed us. Brad was taken apart by Jones, Raven was solid and full of endeavour. Warren was my MOM for clearly giving his all. Laing was quietly effective. Mulraney never got going and Anier never has got going. Draper looked OK in midfield but was lost up front against a very tall Killie central defence. Tansey looks pretty but he is keeping himself for Aberdire. Fisher gave his all but was a fish out of water wide right. Wee Billy never got used and was a waste in the hole role. He is best on the toes of the last defender. Vigurs actually started trying to play football but he is such a lazy *******. Polworth and Cole made no impact. Ah Well it looks like Dumfries will be my ”home” game next season. Killie v ICT Date: 13/05/17 Venue: Rugby Park, Kilmarnock Attendance: 3137 Referee: John Beaton Kilmarnock: 2 Lineup: MacDonald; Hendrie, Dicker, Ajer, Taylor, Smith, Jones, Longstaff, Frizzell, Kiltie (McKenzie, 77), Sammon Subs (not used): Lyle, Osborne, Roberts, Hawkshaw, Graham, Cameron Scorers: Longstaff (17), Jones (57) Booked: Wilson (15), Smith (16) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Esson; Brad Mckay, Laing, Warren, Raven, Draper (Cole, 70), Tansey, Anier (Polworth, 58), Billy Mckay, Mulraney (Vigurs, 46), Fisher Subs (not used): Hoban, McNaughton, Ebbe, McCart Scorers: Fisher (71) Booked: Brad Mckay (15) Sent Off: none a
  10. Three games to save our season. Running out of games now and a tough task this weekend as we visit Ayrshire to take on Kilmarnock in the third last game of the season, unless we make the play-off place where we have to go head to head with a Championship contender. It's been a long hard season for Inverness as the wheels came off and a disastrous run of one win in twenty-three has taken us to the brink of relegation. There's only one way out of this and that is to win back to back games and look for favourable results from others around us. It's a long shot, but it is possible. We threw ourselves a lifeline last weekend with a narrow 2-1 win over Accies in Inverness. We should have won at a canter as we dominated the first half but had only two goals to show for our attacking intent. We nearly paid the price for not putting the game to bed as Accies made a fist of it in the second half but their late goal was the final kick of the game and the points stuck with Inverness. Killie lost out last week to Dundee and both clubs appear to be safe from relegation although not completely out of the running yet. I'm sure Killie would be happy enough to terminate us this weekend to save them the long hike up North. Results have been shared this term, all three previous games ending in 1-1 draws. However, Killie sit 10 points above Inverness in 8th place as we speak and can not get relegated automatically. On the plus side for us, we have scored more goals than Killie (38-32), but it's our defence that has let us down this season and Killie are superior in that department (50-67). It's a daunting task, but one that is not insurmountable, although our seasons stats say otherwise. Killie have been dealt a blow with news that in form keeper Freddie Woodman will not play for them again this season. He has been called up to the England u20 squad for their u20 world cup campaign which begins in South Korea on 20th May. It's recognition for some excellent performances at Rugby Park for the young keeper who has kept five clean sheets since January 21st. Had we played a keeper of the same quality, I doubt we would be in such a mess right now. With Woodman away, Killie have a decent replacement in Jamie MacDonald. Former County defender Scott Boyd is out for the rest of the season having injured his foot. Greg Kiltie played a part last week and could start. Interim gaffer Lee McCulloch added this on BBC Sport:- "Its going to be a tough match. Inverness are punching well below their weight with where they are in the league table, with the players they've got. So it's just up to us to go out and put on a positive performance in front of the crowd." Richie Foran has long term absentees in Josh Meekings, Aaron Doran and Carl Tremarco. Owain Fon Williams is still out and Ryan Esson will once again be between the sticks. Liam Polworth will return after suspension and Iain Vigurs has recovered from illness. Billy King will be departing for Tannadice next season, I wonder if he is up to the task. Scott Boden showed up well as a sub last week and could be worth a try along with Billy Mckay. Jake Mulraney was impressive in the first half against Accies but faded in the second as the visitors pushed further forward and Jake's supply was limited. It's Foran's shout, maybe Polworth will be added to midfield or Richie's favoured midfielder Iain Vigurs will return. Only one man knows, let's hope he makes the right call. I doubt you would get decent odds on Lewis Horner getting a game. Although the former Hibernian player has been out injured for most of the season, it seems that there is an underlying problem as he has been taken to task by the SFA for match betting. He's obviously not up to scratch on this as he is alleged to have bet on Caley Thistle, surely not for a win! tm4tj prediction:- It's a must not lose game, in fact it's more or less a must win game. We have not been very good at these crunch games this season apart from last weeks win against Accies. It seems that one win and some reckon we are going to escape relegation no problem. I have news for you. We struggled to beat Hamilton but thanks to a dubious 'no penalty' for Hamilton, we took the points and gave ourselves this last chance saloon opportunity. We certainly have the players to do it, but do the players have the leadership, belief and the heart to do it. It's the second of four cup finals for Inverness and defeat is unthinkable. I believe we can do it, but given this seasons heartless performances, then maybe another score draw is on the cards. Motherwell and Hamilton go head to head tomorrow and maybe a draw is the best result for our own slim chances of avoiding the drop. New strips were unveiled this week. Let's hope we get to use them in the Premiership.
  11. Rare win for Inverness gives hope. Inverness threw themselves a slender lifeline with a deserved 2-1 win over Hamilton Accies in the relegation scrap at the foot of the table. It was only our second win in twenty-four games and our fourth of the season. This win closes the gap to Accies and Well to four points with only three games left. We should have been out of site by half time and Accies could have had no complaints had we been four or five up at the break. As it was, an early goal from defender Brad Mckay and a penalty by Greg Tansey was all we had to show from numerous attempts. Accies left a bitter sweet taste in the mouth as they notched a goal through Redmond with the last kick of the game as we got ourselves in a fankle. Pity about that but it was a welcome three points that gives us a glimmer of hope and keeps our premiership status alive for another week at least. Full report to follow......... Date: 06/05/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2478 Referee: Andrew Dallas Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Esson, Raven, Warren, Draper, Billy Mckay, Mulraney (King 90+2), Tansey, Fisher (Boden 68), Laing, Brad Mckay (McNaughton 90), Anier Subs (not used): Hoban, Horner, McCart, Cole Scorers: Brad Mckay (10), Tansey (pen.36) Booked: Draper (40), Billy Mckay (51), Tansey (54), Boden (74) Sent Off: none Hamilton: 1 Lineup: Matthews, Mcmann, Sarris, Devlin, Skondras, Imrie, Donati (Crawford 46), Docherty (Brophy 82), MacKinnon, D'Acol, Bingham (Redmond 46) Subs (not used): Woods, Gillespie, Templeton, Adams Scorers: Redmond (94) Booked: Donati (35) Sent Off: none a
  12. Championship contenders clash Hamilton are the visitors on Saturday for an early kick-off as time has all but run out for Inverness in our bid to try to avoid the drop. So far we have been spectacularly unsuccessful in any of our recent head to heads against other relegation candidates, losing to County and Motherwell when it mattered. Our last outing saw us humiliated in Dingwall as County breezed to a 4-0 whitewash with Liam Boyce scoring all four goals. He was ably assisted by Ryan Esson for the first, scored a decent header for the second and topped it off by stroking home two penalties as we finished the game in total disarray and down to ten men. It was clear to all the Inverness fans that our heads have gone down, in fact they appear to have gone about three months ago at least. We had started brightly but as soon as we gifted the first goal that was it, game over and County brushed us aside. They could have played their under nine's and still won this game as we simply folded and looked bereft of ideas. Relegation is now a formality although at the time of writing not officially determined, but having only one win in our last twenty-three league games, I see no reason to believe we can win four in a row to perform a miracle and escape relegation. Accies took over as nearest challengers for the plummet, replacing Dundee who beat Motherwell 3-1. Accies lost 2-0 to Kilmarnock who, like County appear to be safe. For all their possession against Killie, they never looked like taking the points and now find themselves joining us as the most likely candidates for at best the playoffs. In saying that, they still have a 7 point cushion over us with Motherwell on the same points but better goal difference. In our meetings with Accies this season we have managed two score draws and a hugely disappointing 3-0 reverse at Hamilton at the end of January. For many, that was the straw which broke the donkeys back and many were looking for a change of management from here on in. Defeat in this game, and the manner in which we capitulated has epitomised our season. Greg Tansey missed a penalty, a recurring theme this term throughout the side as D'Acol, Gillespie and Bingham ravaged us with ease. That opened up a three point gap from which we have never recovered and we now find ourselves in a desperate situation. After this defeat Foran told BBC Sport: "That puts us into a relegation battle now - forget about top six, we are in a relegation battle now. Some of our players have not got the bottle, they showed that today. We might have been the better side in the first half and their keeper pulled off a great save from the penalty, but some of our boys are hiding and we are in for a fight now. I told them straight, 'I can see who is bottling it, I can see who does not want to take the ball'. It is not them all - I thought Billy Mckay was excellent - but it makes it a massive game for us now on Saturday against Dundee. That was our worst defeat of the season. I'll take my share of the blame, but the players now need to stand up and be counted." Much has been said of our poor form and many fans are heavily criticising the board who have kept faith with Rookie Forlorn for too long. His four year contract looking increasingly ridiculous for a man with no managerial credentials on his CV. The players should shoulder some responsibility for the demise as many are the same players that were good enough for top-six a couple of years ago. It hasn't taken long for us to slip into the championship, two years from Scottish Cup winners, third in the League and European football to the state we are in now is heartbreaking. It'll be all over soon. Anyway, I'm over it now and accept that relegation is imminent so we'll just have to regroup and get on with it. Inverness will be without Liam Polworth as our discipline over the last three months has been deplorable. You tend to find this with relegation candidates as frustration creeps in and discipline goes out the window. I've lost count of the number of players we have had to do without for crucial games due to suspension, notably captain Gary Warren (more than once) and Greg Tansey. Ryan Esson played in goal at Dingwall but the errors kept coming, gifting the opening goal. Looks like he'll have to play tomorrow as Fon Williams is rumoured to be injured. Carl Tremarco is out along with Josh Meekings and Aaron Doran. It's anyone's guess who Richie Foran will select for this one and where he will deploy them. Gary Warren returns after suspension. Hamilton will know that a win here will ensure their safety from the immediate drop. Darian MacKinnon and Giannis Skondoras return after suspension. Grant Gillespie should be fit after injury but Louis Longridge is doubtful. Craig Watson has an illness and is out. tm4tj prediction:- It gives me no pleasure to predict this, but I'll go as far as to say Accies will turn us over and Motherwell will win and that will rubber stamp our relegation. If nothing else, it will be good to get this off our chest as it's been hanging around for too long now. That's just the start of our problems. Where do we go from here? With the present incumbents, I don't see much changing and I doubt we will bounce back like we did before. You need heart to do that and the present team are the worst in the clubs history.
  13. The Demise is complete, the Highlands are theirs. Inverness plumbed the depths of the abyss last night and relegation looks as though it will be a formality. Unbelievably, Richie Foran still believes that four wins will save us. Whilst that is a possibility, there was nothing on display to suggest that a team with only one win in twenty-three games can miraculously win four in a row. At the moment we can't even string four passes in a row. The game itself descended into farce from our point of view after a mildly promising first twenty minutes. Thereafter we capitulated and at the end were totally bedraggled and ripped apart by County who now own the Highlands. Liam Boyce has been credited with all four goals and that gives him a total of nine against us this season. When I say credited, maybe some of our players could be given assists. Ryan Esson was played into trouble by a needless pass back. He reproduced numerous Owain Fon Williams blunders all rolled into one and Boyce shut him down and scored all too easily. His second was an excellent header, the last two were penalties given away by a team that already look relegated. I'm not going to offer any more of a match report, but as I am sick to the back teeth of complaining every week like a broken record, I will let the fans do the talking and post a selection of outbursts lifted from Caley Thistle Online forum so you can get the gist of the fans feelings as our season to forget blunders to a close. Fans vent their frustration after the derby defeat, although many saw this coming months ago. I'll not put any names to these comments, but there's no many happy bunnies out there tonight............ "It's truly amateur stuff we have been playing. I watch part time football most weeks and the standard of inverness isn't much better than what i watch over here most week's. Only difference is caley have more howlers from the keeper. Deserve to be where we are." "And off goes the TV." "We are going down and completely deserve to". "This single season has put this club back 15 years. There's nothing recognisable about us anymore. At least the last time we went down there was optimism. I fear that we are another Dunfermline/st mirren". "You dont languish at the bottom of the league for so long without fully deserving to get relegated." "Acts of PURE desperation from Foran now." "Resign." "Shambles. It's like Foran is playing football manager and selecting random formations." "This is an absolute disgrace ... I am so angry ... and sad. When is enough enough Richie? Get lost right now!" "Total embarrassment. I said weeks ago we were down, 4 wins all season, is shocking. I'm sure Foran will come out with his usual sob story after this. If he had any decency he'd walk." "Switched it off. i am not watching this amateur embarrassment any longer. Foran, just GTF, i don't want to hear any more pathetic excuses or delusional fantasies from you ever again. We haven't a hope of coming back up with such an inept, utterly clueless manager. Cut out the rose-tinted rubbish about your past, man up and disappear. This is your doing, no-one else's." "Richie do you still believe our winning run is coming? Go now and take the board with you!" "How can his position be defended now? Any club in the right mind would remove the manager. This is a complete joke." "Punt all the players in the summer (along with the manager and Board)" "Any other club and his feet wouldn't touch the ground. He's been a complete and utter disaster." "Foran MUST go now! not next week or the end of the season. The man is a disgrace who has no footballing ideas. Most of ICT players were part of a good team until Foran took charge! The rebuilding must start tomorrow." "Hats off to any of our fans staying in the stadium to the bitter end, it must be excruciating being there!" "Please Richie for the love of all that is holy walk away. This is beyond brutal." "Just when you think they can't possibly get any worse they come up with another blinder. The board should have bitten the bullet months ago and kicked RF down the A9. No shape, no passion, no game plan (other than the aimless punt upfield) and not even a pale shadow of ICT teams of past seasons : even when we played in lower leagues. Everyone involved in this worst ever season in our history should hang there heads in shame." "Very very enlightening listening to Charlie Christie on the radio.........he's not holding back !!" "I believe Charlie was never convinced about Foran's credentials. Why is nobody on the board listening to a club legend who has more insight and knowledge about the game than they will ever have? Why didn't they listen to him last year? " "Foran shouldn't be made the scapegoat. The hierarchy must take responsibility for their actions or, more appropriately, inactions !!" "Been a Caley supporter from the Telford Street days 65 years ago. Honestly this is the worst performance have seen. I liked Ritchie as a player but as a Manager he leaves a lot to be desired.. The board of ICT must show they want to be in the Premier League and not the Highland League. The Board and Ritchie must go now." "Painful, board must take a long hard look at themselves. Respect to all who stayed to the end... Did not think we could ever be this poor. Only way is up....." "I can't (or can I) believe Ritchie has come out and said we just need 4 wins / 12 points - he has lost the plot as have the Board!" "There was a lot to take in and Barry Wilson was chipping in too so between them both they touched on .squad size too big, no opportunities for U20's, players wages structure, lack of proper scouting network, concern in youth for about job security, players signed without someone looking at them, an SPL club selling merchandise out of a portakabin, no crowd bounce despite cup win, Foran saying he "needs men" - Charlie rubbishing that and saying we need committed footballers. "Defending is the easy bit of the game". RF wanting a team of 11 RF's. Lack of a team shape, trying to play with a no 10 using players who aren't no10's. Losing the dressing room. Not investing transfer windfalls. What was going wrong tactically on the night. Comparison with slicker club operation at County. Some fans having unrealistic expectations. Recognition of Roy McGregor and plea for ICTFC benefactor to step forward. I sensed he was as angry as the rest of us. There was just no doubting his passion for club and disappointment. Really was a must listen." "The fight for Premiership survival is lost. Nevertheless, we can't drift for the rest of the season. Foran needs to be gone by Monday either of his own volition or at the hands of the increasingly discredited board. This season is lost and was a complete shambles. We need now to get someone who can manage in to start preparing for life in the Championship to give us any chance at all of recovery." "The club is a shambles. From top to bottom change is needed across all levels - Board, coaching, players. I have lived across the UK and in every place I have lived I've followed and supported the local team - that was until I came to Inverness. The product being sold being the stadium, the team, the vision is non existent. The engagement with the city is really poor - I coached school level for 6 years and there was virtually no engagement of any sort from the club, in fact a senior member at the club actively disengaged with the coaches. Fans are treated badly, the Board - well if they operated like that in a business world they would be sacked or bankrupt. ICT has massive potential but only with a young, fresh forward looking positive board." "We the supporters have been taken for granted by the board for long enough. The set up is a shambles from the very bottom to the very top. Tonight was an all time low in Dingwall , not just the result but the feeling that in all aspects they are streets ahead of us. Hate to say it but can only see them getting stronger in our absence from the SPL and we need serious change so Cameron and co do the right thing and go now." "What a shambles. I couldn't watch the game live as I had a commitment I couldn't get out of, so I recorded it. Just watched first half with my whisky glass covering my eyes for a lot of it. Gave up then and flicked to BBC to see the full time score. Not surprised that it got even worse. Nothing more to add. Feel sure that with this manager, no matter how much the squad might be improved, we will struggle again in the championship. I said months ago that we should bin Ritchie, get new blood in and prepare for lower league football. Even more important now that a new man is appointed quickly to give him some time in the summer to try and get some organisation and dicsipline into a new squad. Thanks anyway ICT for giving me a few years of top flight football, and of course, the brilliant cup win, and even a taste of European football, none of which I could even of dreamt of, when growing up in Inverness after second World War, and watching Caley play at Telford Street for a tanner (2.5pence in todays money) ,in the glory days of the early 50s." "Never made the game tonght due to prior engagement. Feared the worst but even my abject pessimism failed to predict the utter shambles which transpired. Enough is enough. Time for a change of direction at all levels. The incumbents have nothing to offer. We need a radical overhaul of all levels from kids to first team. On current form we will be fighting relegation from Championship next season. Unbelievable to contrast with where we were a mere two years ago. A massive missed opportunity from our non-existent board. Sad." "What can i honestly say about last night....... Absolute shambles a huge disgrace to the fans foran has to go and go now!!! If we don't change anything now we are heading for further relegations. Championship will be hugely hard. We aren't the pride of the Highlands now we are the embarrassments of the Highlands. On aspects of these so called rumours? Richie lost the dressing room weeks ago after a incident at half time don't remember what game it was but it was shocking to even hear about. Sad but people will lose jobs and budget will be drastically reduced." If you can stomach it, highlights to follow when available................... It's sort of hidden here. Talking to BBC Sport, Foran had this to say. "It's going to be harder but not impossible," said Foran of his team's chances of avoiding automatic relegation by finishing last. "But there are still 12 points up for grabs. If we get 12 points we have a great chance. Obviously it's a tough task now. "I can see some of the players are low in confidence. "The problem today is that we weren't as aggressive as Ross County. They wanted it more, they bullied us a bit. No shit Sherlock! Date: 28/04/17 Venue: Global Energy Stadium, Dingwall Attendance: 4928 Referee: Craig Thomson Ross County: 4 Lineup: Fox, Woods (Routis 64), Curran, Van Der Weg, Dow, Chow (Dykes 70), Fraser, Boyce (Tumilty 64), O'Brien, Naismith, Gardyne Subs (not used): McCarey, Franks, Malcolm, Gobern Scorers: Boyce (21, 34, pen.49, pen.60) Booked: O'Brien (10), Chow (53) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Esson, Raven (Anier 54), McNaughton, Polworth, Vigurs (Draper 64), McCart, Mulraney, Tansey, Fisher, King (Billy Mckay 46), Laing Subs (not used): Hoban, Horner, Brad McKay, Cole Scorers: none Booked: none Sent Off: Polworth (60) a
  14. It's Now or Never The song says it all. It's now or never as we face County in the biggest game of the season on Friday night. Defeat will almost certainly see us relegated, unless Dundee continue their downward spiral, victory will see us cling on to our premier league status for another week at least. A lot has happened since our last game at Motherwell that saw us go down 4-2 and leave us with a mountain to climb. We had clawed our way back into the game thanks to an Alex Fisher double, but we then lost a bizarre non goal before being caught out. Since then, Maurice Malpas is seen by the board as the man to save our season and help us to avoid relegation. That's something he failed to do the last time he was here as we went down when he and Butcher failed to overcome the plight Craig Brewster left us in. A touch of Deja Vu going on here as Richie Foran has taken us to the brink, but the shoes are still on. Dundee recognised their problem and were pro-active in trying to avoid the drop by sacking Paul Hartley and putting their safety in the hands of Neil McCann. A run of seven straight defeats means that Dundee are now our nearest challengers for automatic relegation with the worst current form in the bottom-six. For all that, nobody can match our season long calamitous performances that leaves us with only four wins and a shatteringly bad one win in twenty-two league games, a statistic that has seen managers and boards sacked for much less. Here's the bottom-six as it stands prior to our game against County. Bottom-Six Pl W D L F A GD Pts 7 Kilmarnock 33 7 14 12 30 49 -19 35 8 Ross County 33 7 12 14 37 54 -17 33 9 Hamilton A 33 6 14 13 30 48 -18 32 10 Motherwell 33 8 8 17 38 61 -23 32 11 Dundee FC 33 8 6 19 33 53 -20 30 12 Inverness CT 33 4 13 16 36 62 -26 25 With Dundee our nearest safety outlet we face County in a derby that could virtually decide our fate. County took an undeserved point from Celtic thanks to shamed footballing cheat Alex Schalk who was awarded a penalty for diving. Liam Boyce converted to make it 2-2. Michael Gardyne had scored a superb headed goal earlier but Celtic edged ahead only for the ref to blunder once more and offer County a point. That point shows that County are on the verge of safety as are Kilmarnock. Diving cheat Alex Schalk was offered a two match ban for his embarrassing trip against Celtic. He had little choice to be honest with the defender almost a yard from him as he flung himself onto the turf to deceive the referee (fairly easy task) and win a penalty that should never have been given. He also tried to cheat his way to get the opposition player sent off. As the Arctic Monkey said..... What a scummy man. Liam Boyce's suspension does not kick in until after the derby, therefore he will be eligible for selection. However, County will be without influential defender Andrew Davies through suspension. Martin Woods is clear to play after his ban but Jay McEveley (doubtful), Tony Dingwall, Ian McShane and Paul Quinn are out. Carl Tremarco is the latest Caley Jags casualty to be sidelined after sustaining knee ligament damage against Motherwell that will rule him out for up to six months at least. That will mean a shoe in for Kev McNaughton at left back surely. Aaron Doran and Josh Meekings are still on long term sick leave. Lewis Horner got some game time in a development league game in midweek, as did Scott Boden and Dean Ebbe, who scored a penalty in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Dundee. Larnell Cole could return after serving a one match ban, but Gary Warren still has another game to miss. Billy Mckay and David Raven should return to bolster the options at either end of the park. tm4tj prediction:- This is yet another vital game and so far we have failed to win any of the recent six-pointers. Maurice Malpas is back to lend a hand but many feel it's come too late to save our season. Billy Mckay was taken on earlier, but apart from a stunning strike against Rangers, his goals per game ratio is not going to get us out of this mess, despite his overall play being energetic and full of quality. County are no better than us but have edged the derby's this season and that could be the difference between staying up or going down. I'm not convinced we can get the better of County in this one and a draw looks like being the best bet. We will need to rely on Dundee continuing to plummet, but even that option is running out of time because we are failing to help ourselves. Score draw in this one is where the smart money will be. Relegation watch games. It's looking like we need to target Dundee, so a Motherwell win would be welcome. County v Caley Jags Accies v Killie Well v Dundee
  15. All over bar the shouting Despite Richie Foran stating we were ready for the battle, it was Motherwell that came out determined to put us to the sword and after just eight minutes we found ourselves 2-0 down and Tremarco substituted through injury. Foran said on BBC Sport "I'm feeling positive. Three points today can change the whole picture for us." Eight minutes later that statement looked flawed. Alex Fisher deflected one in before half-time and had another couple of efforts well saved by Craig Samson. The Fish lobbed another ten minutes after the break to level matters. However a disputed Scott McDonald goal and a powerful headed finish from Allan Campbell put Well in the driving seat again. 4-2 Final score and the Championship is calling our name out loud. The fears of the visiting fans were quickly realised as Billy Mckay missed out through injury and with Gary Warren and Larnell Cole suspended and Iain Vigurs on the park, the writing was on the wall before a ball was kicked. The results this weekend have virtually relegated Inverness although Dundee are still in free fall five points above us. Old Caley Girl will have a full report for us if she hasn't jumped off the Kessock Bridge yet.................. Nope, she's still with us, and has put together a somewhat sombre report. The Grim Reaper is coming It is with a very heavy heart I start typing this match report. Yesterday was, in all honesty, a final roll of the dice to save ourselves and we failed. There is no doubt this wretched season is grinding to its inevitable conclusion. We are done, finished and down no doubt about it. Any optimism Caleyaway had at the start of the match didn’t last long. Cadden opened the scoring in 7 minutes. He danced into the box and bulleted the ball into the left hand top of the goal. It seemed to catch the wind and curl giving OFW no chance. Yet again all too easy with Cadden not shut down early by McCart. Two minutes later things went from bad to worse. Moult floated a left footed shot over the goal, the ball was fumbled by OFW and bounced into the net. Ryan Bowman could have made it 3 but for a good save by our keeper. At this point we decided to roll up our sleeves, waken up and play. A further blow was Carl Tremarco going off injured and replaced by McNaughton in 11 minutes. For the rest of the first half it was pretty much end to end stuff with Fisher giving the away fans a bit of a lift in 21 minutes with a left footed shot hitting the right hand back of the net. Owain Fon Williams had several fine saves as well. HALF TIME Motherwell 2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1 The second half continued as the first had ended with both sides having chances. However in 54 minutes it looked like the great escape was on. Fisher scoring a poachers goal from outside the box into an empty net, one that Iain Stewart would have been proud of. This was the type of fight and grit we had been looking for from the players and there was hope this might, just might be the day we won the must win game. In 64 minutes Vigurs was replaced by Mulraney and unfortunately that led to us losing shape in my opinion. Vigurs had been having a solid game up till this point playing off Polworth. Two minutes later enter the Willie Collum show. Scott McDonald headed the ball towards goal and was saved on the line by Owain Fon Williams. Well we all thought it was until Mr Collum bizarrely awarded a goal!!! Our players were understandably raging and that was that. The players seemed totally deflated and that probably led to losing another goal 5 minutes later from an Allan Campbell header. Anier appeared in 74 minutes replacing Billy King and Brad McKay earned a yellow in 89 minutes. No luck again but that’s been the story of this season. A monumental task now awaits if we are to stay up. FULL TIME – Motherwell 4 -2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle OCG MotM – Alex Fisher, showing fight passion and knowing where the back of the net was. I can’t help feeling he should have been playing more and that if he had we might not be where we are now. At the end of the match he came over acknowledged the fans and gave away his top to a young away fan. Not sure what to read into that but rumours now surface that his contract will not be renewed sadly. Honourable mention to Iain Vigurs, Greg Tansey and Liam Polworth who definitely got pass marks from me. Can’t remember feeling so down as I did yesterday leaving Fir Park. Will be a while till we see it again as our fate is sealed. There will be no great escape after all. Yes Collum changed the match and in all probability that was the killer blow but we have been struggling all season. A lot of chat re Richie Foran, the players and the board from fellow Caleyawayers. Leaving that for another day as still licking my wounds from a miserable day out. Oh dear, not looking so good now as we enter the bottom-six split 5 points adrift of the nearest side, the free falling Dundee. All is not lost yet, but it would be a brave man to bet on us avoiding relegation now. Still, while there are fifteen points still up for grabs, then we can cling on to the Premiership for another couple of weeks yet. Next game is a Friday night derby at Dingwall. Not for the faint hearted I imagine. A forlorn Foran gives his match reaction........... Highlights from SPFL website Date: 15/04/17 Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell Attendance: 3696 Referee: Willie Collum Motherwell: 4 Lineup: Samson, Hammell (Jules 87), Heneghan, McHugh, Campbell, Cadden, Frear, Pearson, Bowman (Ainsworth 59), McDonald, Moult (Blyth 83) Subs (not used): Griffiths, Clay, Ferguson, Gordon Scorers: Cadden (7), Moult (9), McDonald (65), Campbell (70) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 2 Lineup: Fon-Williams, Tremarco (McNaughton 13), McCart, Laing, B.MacKay, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Mulraney 64), Tansey, King (Anier 74), Fisher Subs (not used): Esson, Ebbe, Horner, Boden Scorers: Fisher (21, 54) Booked: Brad Mackay (89) Sent Off: none a
  16. Good preview again Don and I concur with your prediction. I kept saying that I hope ICT and RF can turn this around but its not happening. Maybe today could be the day for it to start but I doubt it.
  17. On the brink Inverness are on the brink of relegation after a shambolic, hapless and gutless performance against a mediocre St Johnstone, who themselves were without two of their stalwart players after an altercation last week. As it turned out, it mattered not a jot as we slumped to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat after Larnell Cole was sent off for dissent. We crumbled thereafter. Goals from Steve Maclean, and a late Liam Craig penalty were rubber stamped by a Graham Cummins strike to complete a miserable afternoon for the Caley Jags and their supporters who chose to vent their frustration towards the bench and the unseen board who had backed the untried Richie Foran, who is probably the scapegoat in this whole sorry saga. The only saving grace after today's tripe was that only County and Accies benefited by a single point. The rest, like us, losing. We only had around 2500 home fans at this game, what incentive is that for the players to bust a gut, then again, what encouragement are the fans getting after a display like that, it's a catch 22 situation. Richie Foran speaking to BBC said "The main person who is not good enough is me. I am obviously not doing my job right and big apologies to the supporters. I believe we let them down today. "It is not good enough. I pick the team, I pick the shape, I will take 90% of the blame for that but the players need to stand up as well." Just today I hear you all shout........ In a game that was crucial to our Premiership survival barely 2500 Home fans bothered to turn up to witness another grim performance, and another nail in the Caley Jags coffin. Considering what was at stake for Inverness, we showed little urgency in the opening exchanges. We lined up with three at the back and Tremarco and McNaughton slightly ahead although it was basically a back five as St Johnstone pressed us high up the park. Mulraney made the bench but remained on it for the whole game. We started with no width and little expectation, sadly that's how at panned out. Neither side were able to carve out a clear opportunity although we had three snippets that we passed on, Billy Mckay, Alex Fisher and Carl Tremarco unable to make the keeper work as they knocked the ball wide or sclaffed their attempts. Greg Tansey showed plenty commitment and a long range effort was dealt with by Alan Mannus in the visitors goal. St Johnstone offered little to trouble Fon Williams, but when they did, he gifted them an opportunity, one they accepted gleefully as MacLean tapped in almost on the line. The keeper had dived low to cut out a cross, all he succeeded in doing was knocking the ball into the path of two Saints players who contrived to knock the ball behind him from close range. Five minutes before the break and the chilling stench of relegation was overpowering. Half Time 0-1 Undeterred we plodded on in the second period and caused the visiting defence plenty of problems, however, for all our domination until Larnell Cole was red carded in the 80th minute, we failed to make Alan Mannus work, electing to miss the target or see shots blocked by a hard working St Johnstone defence. Even the talismanic Billy Mckay failed to get shots away and found defenders protecting Mannus able to block his efforts. When we did make a breakthrough, Cole could only shoot straight at Mannus who gathered easily. We were pressing at this point without a cutting edge but the game dynamics changed drastically after 80 minutes when Cole was sent off. He appeared to have skipped past a couple of players before being brought down clumsily. However, the incompetent referee, and I use that term loosely, Stephen Finnie saw otherwise and when Cole confronted him all he got for his troubles was a yellow card. The angry Cole never gave up though and Finnie swiftly followed the first yellow with a second followed by a change of colour to red. That started the capitulation and two minutes before the end Tremarco gave away a penalty as St Johnstone broke forward. Cue mass exodus. Game and season over as Liam Craig sent Fon Williams the wrong way again. The icing went on the Perth cake in injury time when Graham Cummins wrapped up the points with Inverness, by now, in total disarray. Full Time 0-3 This was another must win game that brought us zero points and abject failure and misery. The Cole sending off was farcical, but there can be no excuse for Garry Warren getting red carded in the tunnel after the game. He obviously had something to say to the official and saw the same colour as Cole. Well done Gary, you are now out at a critical time when we are trying to avoid relegation. Not a great advert for the captain of our team and certainly not leading by example. In truth, our performance was that of a team in absolute chaos, nobody taking responsibility, nobody able to create the spark needed to ignite the fuse, nobody with the balls to try something different and the harsh reality is that we deserve to be where we are based on too many similar performances over the season. Richie's appointment not looking like the best idea right now and the players look resigned to going down. Shame on the lot of you. We needed other games to go for us and they mostly did. Only County and Accies moved further away from us and only by one point, so the position remains crystal clear at the bottom of the table. I'm afraid the only way out of this is to start winning games, anything other than a win next week at Motherwell and it's Championship for us, unless you believe in miracles. tm4tj MotM:- It doesn't matter anymore. We were well served by the departing Tansey, McCart and McNaughton who must be needing to build on his stamina after his lengthy lay off. Billy continues to work away but you can see his frustration after another fruitless day at the office. Too many passengers in a side that look as if they are already doomed. Apologies if this sounds like a broken record, but I'm afraid the record is well and truly broken. Footage from SPFL website of our humiliation Date: 08/04/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2961 Referee: Stephen Finnie Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Tremarco, McNaughton (King 57), Warren, Draper (Polworth 57), McCart (Boden 82), W.Mckay, Tansey, Fisher, Laing, Cole Subs (not used): Esson, Mulraney, Brad McKay, Anier Scorers: none Booked: Cole (81) Sent Off: Cole (82), Warren (in tunnel after game) St Johnstone: 3 Lineup: Mannus, Scobbie, Alston (Thomson 82), MacLean (Millar 79), Shaughnessy, Smith, Coulson (Wotherspoon 70), Paton, Easton, Craig, Cummins Subs (not used): Clark, Anderson, Hurst, Hunter Scorers: MacLean (40), Craig (pen.88), Cummins (91) Booked: Alston (65) Sent Off: none a
  18. Relegation battle begins in earnest. St Johnstone bring their own Marquess of Queensberry brand of football to the Highlands when they visit the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the games start to run out for the Caley Jags in our quest to avoid relegation. Here's a wee tune to welcome the Boxers We were at Pittodrie in midweek and came away empty handed after a Garry Warren own goal gave Aberdeen all three points. The Dons had previously hammered Dundee but found Inverness a tougher nut to crack. We had our own moments during the game but the Dons looked menacing when they broke forward at pace. Despite our massive effort, we fell short of scoring a vital goal and that result ensures we remain bottom of the League for now. St Johnstone were at home to Hearts on Wednesday night and won 1-0 courtesy of a Joe Shaughnessy header. That keeps them firmly in 4th place. However, it was their previous game against Hamilton that ended in farce after a boxing bout broke out between two of their own players, Danny Swanson and Richard Foster. The joke was on us though as Hamilton Accies took advantage of nine man Perth and took all three points. Not much going our way just now, what with late goals, own goals, penalties and expected wins for other teams failing to materialise. Sometimes it's just not your season. This appears to be sometimes. One win in twenty League games is relegation form I'm afraid, and with only seven games remaining, it's difficult to see how and when we can rectify that. The odds are stacking against us. We have had too many draws of late that were not converted into wins and that is killing us. Other teams have lost more games than us over the last ten, Motherwell have conceded the most goals and have the worst goal difference, yet it's Inverness that are in danger of being cut adrift. Meh! One of our four wins this season was the first fixture between the clubs in August, 2-1 in the Highlands. Ross Draper opened the scoring but Richard Foster leveled the game. It took a very late Josh Meekings prod to win the game at the death. The return encounter at Perth saw St Johnstone cruise home untroubled, winning 3-0. Liam Craig, Murray Davidson and Danny Swanson scored for Saints and Garry Warren got himself red carded after an hour. Richie Foran will not have Josh Meekings, Aaron Doran or Iain Vigurs available. Carl Tremarco came through his comeback at Pittodrie unscathed, as did Kevin McNaughton. Jake Mulraney missed out at Pittodrie and his pace on the wing was missed, and he might be missing this one as well. David Raven is rumoured to be struggling to make this one with a groin injury. Tommy Wright will have to do without his cage fighters Danny Swanson and Richard Foster. I don't believe they will be exchanging Xmas cards this year. Keith Watson, Ally Gilchrist and Chris Kane will also sit this one out. However, Steven Anderson and Murray Davidson could be fit enough to be included in the Perth squad. tm4tj prediction:- Well, judging purely on statistics we will have little chance of getting something from this. However, with the two scrappers out suspended then that throws us a lifeline as well. Swanson has been a success this season with a dozen goals and they will miss his contribution. We need to turn defeats into draws and draws into wins. Our commitment has been good recently but we lack the quality and direction needed to see us through the final phase of the campaign. We can do this, it won't be pretty, but pretty never won anything, so let's get the job done, starting at home this weekend. Narrow and ugly home win. With Motherwell and Accies drawing and County beating Dundee in midweek with a last minute penalty, that keeps four other teams within six points of Inverness. So, it's up to us now. A win this weekend would be massive and set us up for a six-pointer showdown with Motherwell the week after, the last game before the League split. Remember 15 points up for grabs in the bottom-six games, still a chance to squirm out if the shit yet. Other games concerning teams at the wrong end of the table:- Celtic v Kilmarnock Hamilton v Ross County Hearts v Dundee Partick v Motherwell
  19. Inverness make Dons work hard for the points Aberdeen took the lead after 22 minutes when the ball was bundled home from close range following a corner. It was eventually accredited to Gary Warren (og). The Dons looked eager to please but we had a couple of first half chances, a Mckay shot and a Tansey header. Polworth had an effort tipped away for a corner after the break as Aberdeen continued to search for a second. Miles Storey incredibly missed a sitter late on. Only he knows how. It didn't matter at the end though as we failed to score and find ourselves in more trouble than you could shake a stick at. RIG was at this one and here is his report.......... Went into that game fearing an absolute bumming but came away slightly disappointed we didn't nick something from it. Not saying we deserved a draw but Aberdeen were very flat for most of the match and we grew into it and had some decent chances to get a goal. That said overall Aberdeen definitely seemed to be playing within themselves after their destruction of Dundee on Friday. Very defensive line up to start with from Foran. Warren, Laing and McNaughton all starting at CB with Tremarco and Raven on the left and right. Tansey, Draper and Polworth in the middle and Mckay and Anier up front. The lack of width in the side was evident throughout the opening period of the game. Any time the likes of Tansey got the ball in the midfield we looked to the wide areas for support and Raven / Tremarco were often too far up the pitch or too far back to offer us the chance to stretch the Aberdeen rearguard. When Aberdeen attacked they went down the flanks doubling up on our full backs which often meant that one of the midfield three were having to come across to help defend which opened up space in the middle of the pitch for Shinnie, McLean etc to drive into. Aberdeen goal was pretty untidy from an ICT point of view. Defence struggled to clear a corner and the ball seemed to ricochet in off Warren under pressure from Considine and Taylor. Best chance of the first half for ICT was created by Polworth who surged through the middle and played a nice ball to Mckay inside the box but Lewis was able to save. It was a rare moment of football from ICT in the first half with our main tactic normally consisting of leathering the ball in the vague direction of Mckay or Anier which was easily defended by Taylor and O'Connor. Half Time 1-0 Second half Aberdeen clearly eased off and we started to grow into the game a bit more as time went on coupled with a change in shape. A couple of long range strikes, including a decent effort from Polworth, and some scrambles in the Aberdeen box gave some hope that we might nick a point but our play in the final third lacked a real cutting edge. During a rare period of play where we actually got the ball down and passed it around we had some success getting in behind the Aberdeen defence particularly down their left and once Fisher came on the long ball started to become a bit more effective with Taylor and O'Connor suddenly finding themselves under pressure in the air. However the best chance of the second half fell Aberdeen's way in the shape of the inexplicable miss from Storey. Absolutely no idea how he managed to miss it and then he contrived to take the ball away from goal as he tried to get it under control. Full Time 1-0 ICT players were on the floor at the end. There was certainly no lack of effort from the guys last night but we just don't have the quality to break down teams like Aberdeen and probably most teams in the league just now. Even just having someone like Christie could open up a few goal scoring chances for us which could make all the difference. I thought Polworth did well in his more natural central midfield position. He was burst by the end of the game though. McNaughton was also excellent at the back for us and I felt Laing had a good game. Draper was poor. Distribution well off and again he was used to try and win some of the long balls with varying degrees of success. Tansey was off the boil too. His short passing was mostly good although he often gave the ball away needlessly. Some of his long passes were off the mark too and he showed a real reluctance to try and attack when in possession even when faced with yards of open space. Aberdeen, as I said, were playing in first or second gear. They were competent all over the pitch without any real standout performances I felt. Everyone just did their job well. Nothing flashy. A pretty routine win for them. Whole crowd was very muted. It felt like a post split match with nothing to play for therefore there was zero atmosphere save for one really angry Aberdeen fan in the DD who spent about 20 minutes of the first half calling a bunch of 16 year old ICT fans paedos which was slightly strange. Date: 04/04/17 Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen Attendance: 11507 Referee: Andrew Dallas Aberdeen: 1 Lineup: Lewis, Logan, Shinnie, Considine, Taylor, McLean, Rooney (Storey 79), McGinn (Christie 80), Hayes, O'Connor, Jack Subs (not used): Alexander, Pawlett, Wright, Ross, Anderson Scorers: Taylor (22) Booked: none Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Tremarco, McNaughton (Fisher 86), Warren, Polworth, Draper (Cole 61), W.McKay, Tansey, Laing, Anier (Ebbe 67) Subs (not used): Esson, McCart, King, B.McKay Scorers: none Booked: W.Mckay (40), Tremarco (66) Sent Off: none
  20. High scoring Dons next for Inverness. It's our toughest remaining fixture of a difficult season on Tuesday night as we face our player poachers, Aberdeen. With Greg Tansey jumping ship in the summer, he will join up with half a dozen former Caley Jags players now plying their trade at Pittodrie. We did ourselves no favours in our last outing, drawing with Kilmarnock at home when we really need to be winning these games to get ourselves off the foot of the table. It's one step forward and two back just now as Hamilton benefited from a St Johnstone boxing match to win all three points once Saints were reduced to nine men. Billy Mckay leveled the game with Killie after Kris Boyd had scored from the spot. Plenty of huff and puff, but we failed to blow the house down and it looks like it's going to be a tense finale to the season. The sheep are on fire right now and they pulverised Dundee by putting seven goals past them without reply. Andrew Considine scored a hat-trick in that game as they absolutely put the Dark Blues to the sword with some marvelous interplay as they cut them open time and time again. The Dons are on target to finish the best of the rest. They have only one defeat in their last eight games, (Hamilton) and they have won the other seven. In stark contrast, Inverness have only one win in their last eight (Rangers). The others are five draws and one defeat. The difference in fortunes are reflected in the relevant positions of the teams, Aberdeen on 61 points and Inverness on 25 points. We drew with the Dons back in September at Pittodrie, but when they came North in November we were easily beaten 3-1. A repeat of the Pittodrie draw would be welcome and most fans would bite the Aberdeen hand off right now if offered that outcome on Tuesday night. Our last win at Pittodrie was five games ago in January 2014. Since then it has been two defeats and the last two ended all square. Greg Tansey will be under scrutiny as his soon to be employers will be unimpressed should he score a winning goal against them. I wonder if it might be in everyone's best interest if he should sit this one out. However, we still pay his wages at the moment. Josh Meekings, Aaron Doran and Iain Vigurs are all out. Ryan Esson was on the bench against Killie and he will be on it again at Pittodrie. Carl Tremarco and Lewis Horner could make the squad. It was great to have the classy Kev McNaughton back on Saturday and he will be an asset in the defence should Tremarco not be risked. Aberdeen will be without the suspended Jayden Stockley. But with their depth of talent, mostly ex-Inverness players with more to follow, then I doubt he will be missed. Mark Reynolds is also out. Derek McInnes should have an otherwise unchanged squad from the one that battered Dundee. Other midweek fixtures to keep an eye on are:- Ross County v Dundee (Tues) Kilmarnock v Rangers (Wed) Motherwell v Hamilton (Wed)
  21. Another missed opportunity. Inverness passed up another opportunity to steer away from the foot of the table as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Kilmarnock in the Highlands. It was an entertaining enough game and nobody can have any complaints about the scoreline. Brad Mckay gave away a penalty with a rash challenge inside the box to give Bobby Madden no option but to point to the spot. Kris Boyd converted to open the scoring, but six minutes later Billy Mckay swivelled in the box to hit a low shot in off the post the square matters. With no further scoring thanks to both keepers in excellent form, the game ended level, a better point for Killie than it was for the home side. With Iain Vigurs and Carl Tremarco missing, Richie Foran had to re-jig his outfit and went with five defenders and King & Cole as the playmakers. Aberdeen bound Greg Tansey was given a key role to provide the ammunition for the strikers. Killie had Kris Boyd on from the off with the tricky Jordan Jones the wide provider. It was a fairly cagey opening to the game with neither side settling early. Larnell Cole was prominent early on and he drew a good save from Freddie Woodman as he shot from the edge of the box. One contest that was as one sided as David Haye's last bout was Jordan Jones v Brad Mckay. It was a contest that would see the bedraggled Brad kept in the dressing room after the break. Jones enjoyed the freedom of the wing as he tore Brad Mckay a new one time after time. It was his pace and trickery that led to a clumsy lunge by the bold Brad that Mr Madden had the simple task of awarding a penalty. A stonewaller and Kris Boyd fired the penalty low to the keepers right which makes you wonder why Owain dived low to his left. It may have been Mckay that was the baddie, but the real villain of the piece was Billy King who lost the ball just outside our box. Jones forced Fon Williams into action a couple of minutes later as he waltzed across our defence and shot goalwards. We took that one on the chin and pushed for an equaliser and that came six minutes later. The busy Cole fed David Raven on the left and his cross into the box was partly cleared. Billy pounced on the loose ball, brought it under control swiftly, swivelled and rifled his shot across the keeper and in off the post. Ten minutes later and Gerg Tansey hit a long range effort to the keepers left, but it was at a comfortable height and he pushed the ball away from danger at the expense of a corner. Boyd might have done better as he volleyed a cross from the right, but he miscued and the chance went harmlessly wide. Conor Sammon fared slightly better with a header but Fon Williams saved minutes before the break. Half Time 1-1 With Brad Mckay staying in after the break Kevin McNaughton replaced him to good effect, his first real test since his season long injury problem. He certainly steadied the ship and also found time to overlap on the left. Tansey and Billy Mckay both shot wide as we looked to get ahead and Cole made Woodman earn his crust as the keeper dived low to his left to push away his netbound shot. Gary Warren did well as he out sprinted the bulky Boyd and terminated his run on the edge of the box with a well timed tackle, the ageing Killie striker looking like he might benefit from a long ball over the top. Jake Mulraney came on after the hour and spent the rest of the afternoon being fouled. His wing wizardry seeing him beat players with consumate ease but still the final ball eluded him and his strike partners. Some nifty neat footwork by Tansey saw him feed McNaughton who crossed low into the heart of the box. Billy Mckay hit it first time with his left foot from twelve yards but Woodman produced a remarkable reflex save to deny Billy who must have thought he was about to score. Jones and Sean Longstaff brought out the best of Fon Williams, but he pulled of an equally good save as he dived low to his right and got a solid hand on a flashing shot from Callum Roberts as Killie finished the game strongly. Woodman was in the right place to gather a stabbed effort in a six yard box melee and that was our lot. Full Time 1-1 So, a draw it was and no surprise it was a scoring one at that. Plenty of effort from Inverness today but the story of the season was evident again. Not making the most of the chances that came our way and when we ran out of ideas the visitors ended stronger and we were left clinging on somewhat without looking like getting our noses in front. Richie Foran is not the fans favourite just now as we went with five defenders and an isolated Billy Mckay. Brad Mckay was rightly hooked at half time as he was a liability every time Jones confronted him. Kev McNaughton was excellent when he came on though and oozed class, his reading of the game reminiscent of a young Bobby Mann. Mulraney did one piece of magic to earn a corner when he was hemmed in but was the victim of some rough treatment from the Killie defence. Great goal from Billy Mckay to get us the point and a superb display from Fon Williams. I'm giving my vote to Larnell Cole, but there were great contribuions from a handful of players, namely Fon Williams, Raven, Tansey and Billy Mckay. A couple of names not on that list are the pair responsible for the Killie penalty, Brad Mckay and the anonymous Billy King who must have been wearing Vigurs' boots. These draws are hurting us now as we run out of games and many fans are now fearing the worst with Foran looking like he might be incapable of turning this around. Difficult times ahead as Hamilton sent us to the bottom of the league once more with a very late win against St Johnstone. One win in our last eighteen games does not fill me with confidence going into the vital bottom six games. Difficult game coming up at Pittodrie on Tuesday night and the sheep are on fire after burning Dundee on Friday night. That's the most difficult fixture we have left, let's get it out of the way with as little damage as possible then look for some positives in our remaining fixtures. Footage from SPFL website Date: 01/04/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 2780 Referee: Bobby Madden Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; B.Mckay (McNaughton, 46), Warren, McCart, Raven, Laing, Draper, Tansey, Cole (Polworth 86), King (Mulraney 61), W.Mckay Subs (not used): Esson, Ebbe, Boden, Anier Scorers: W.Mckay (25) Booked: B.Mckay (34) Sent Off: none Kilmarnock: 1 Lineup: Woodman; Wilson, S Boyd, Ayer, Taylor, Dicker, McKenzie (Kiltie 51), Longstaff, Jones (Roberts 78), K Boyd, Sammon Subs (not used): MacDonald, Osborne, Frizzell, Hawkshaw, Innes Scorers: K.Boyd (pen.19) Booked: Dicker (76) Sent Off: none a
  22. Return of the six-pointer It's another crucial match as we begin to run out of games to save our season. Kilmarnock are the visitors on Saturday after the inconvenience of International weekend. In actual fact, they are all crucial now, and after the last outings turnaround in results with County and Killie salvaging draws, then we need to start making the most of home advantage. That means having a go Richie rather than waiting for something to happen. It did last time out, unfortunately at the wrong end. How steep is this learning curve, it's almost vertical now. We lost a vital two points against County that would have dragged them right down into the thick of the relegation tussle. Greg Tansey had given us the lead just after the break but a late goal from Alex Schalk evened up matters. When the dust had settled after another frenetic derby it was a point apiece and no one could grumble if I'm being honest. In saying that, both sides had chances to win the game, but as has been the case for most of the season, we failed to take advantage when on top and our defensive record speaks for itself, abysmal. This result keeps us in the relegation turmoil whilst County still harbour hopes of a top-six slot. (Who are they kidding) Killie salvaged a point thanks to an incredible blunder by Partick's keeper when he failed to stop a trundling effort. The ball seemed to slap off him and squirm it's way into the net. Unbelievable Geoff! Chris Erskine looked to have given Partick all three points but Conor Sammon squeezed the ball home from distance thanks to an horrific cock-up by Tomas Cerny, straight out of the Fon Williams book of blunderful saves. Killie have been a bit Jekyll and Hyde this season, but have surprised many by their league position, sitting eight points above Inverness and only two behind Partick in sixth place. Look away now Tomas................. You have to go back eleven games since Killie last beat Inverness in the Highlands. It was seven years ago in December 2010 when they won 1-3. Craig Bryson, Liam Kelly and Jamie Hamill did the damage Hamill scoring from a rebound after his penalty had been saved by Ryan Esson. A certain Mr Richie Foran scored the Inverness goal that day. Since then, it has been five home wins and five draws. That statistic would appear to make Inverness the favourites on paper, but in reality, Killie have been better equipped this season and their league position is healthier than ours at the moment. They are however the second lowest scoring side in the division with only twenty-eight goals, five fewer than us. Their defence is eight better off than ours. That all adds up to a goal difference of minus seventeen compared to minus twenty for Inverness, which means every goal scored will count double in the goal difference stakes. Iain Vigurs crocked himself in the Highland derby and will possibly miss the rest of the season with ankle ligament damage. Carl Tremarco also took a knock in the derby and will miss another couple of weeks. Ryan Esson, Josh Meekings, Aaron Doran and Lewis Horner are out long term. Jake Mulraney missed the last game but hopes to have recovered sufficiently to be included in the squad for this one. Jamie McCart played for Scotland u21 in midweek and along with Louis Laing could keep his place in defence, although Gary Warren's experience could be vital. David Raven could be used at left back again and Kevin McNaughton is fit enough to be included after his lengthy time out. Brad Mckay will also be pushing for a start and Liam Polworth needs to stand up and be counted now that Vigurs is missing. Killie's interim manager Lee McCulloch will be without the suspended Luke Hendrie. Steven Smith is struggling for fitness although could be available, but Greg Kiltie is not ready for action yet. And finally, the worlds worst kept secret has become public knowledge. It has been announced that Greg Tansey will be leaving in the summer to join the rest of his former colleagues at Pittodrie. Well blow me down. It's a bit untimely given our predicament, but I'm sure Greg will not want a relegation on his CV and will be trying his utmost to get us away from the bottom. tm4tj prediction:- As I said above, Killies season should be seen as a success thus far. They have some flair players capable of hurting the opposition. Greg Kiltie and Rory McKenzie to name a couple and Conor Sammon is always a danger with his pace and eye for goal. He has scored three goals since his return to Killie in seven appearances. We need to be more aggressive at home, but not to the detriment of our fragile defence. We have a scorer in Billy Mckay, but he needs some service. If we can get bodies forward to help him out then I see no reason that we can't take all three points, but given that we don't do nil-nil in this fixture then it could be a scoring draw which will not do us any favours. Killie still have hopes of top-six, we hope to be playing in the top league next season. With Killie playing Rangers, Celtic and Hearts after they come North, they might feel that this is the one they should be winning and will go for the jugular. It could get messy, but let's get behind the guys and give them every encouragement we can. Other games around us that we will be keeping an eye on. Dundee 0 - 7 Aberdeen (Friday) Oooooft, that's a hammering. Looking forward to Tuesday night now! Hamilton v St Johnstone Partick v Ross County Rangers v Motherwell
  23. Derby Draw Disappoints Inverness The Highland derby ended in a disappointing draw as County came from behind to snatch a point with a late Alex Schalk strike. Greg Tansey's deflected strike just after the break gave Inverness an unexpected lead given the poor first forty-five, but they failed to capitalise on some early second half pressure, Billy Mckay hitting the crossbar as he tried to turn a cross home. County were menacing on the counter and Craig Curran missed a sitter when he headed wide when he should have hit the target. Overall, a draw was just about right although either side could have sneaked all three points. Inverness were dealt a blow before kick-off with the news that pacey winger Jake Mulraney was not fit. The converse for Ross County, with big stopper Andrew Davies given the go ahead to play. Richie Foran seemed to go for a formation that was designed not to concede rather than go for glory. Iain Vigurs started with Ross Draper and Carl Tremarco back after suspension. County had Aaron McCarey between the sticks. The game kicked off on a heavy pitch after Friday's constant rain and it was a cagey opening. Vigurs was looking more involved than he has been of late and he curled a ball that skiffed the top of the bar with the keeper beaten. Good effort with his right foot from twenty yards but he was injured soon after and replaced before the break by Liam Polworth. County were looking the more likely as our lack of width allowed them access to the wide areas and they flashed a couple of dangerous low crosses into the box that just eluded the strikers when a touch would have given them the lead. We were devoid of attacking intent in the first half and getting to the break all square was a bonus. Half Time 0-0 However, we exploded out of the blocks after the interval and Greg Tansey smacked a shot low towards the keepers left after indecision in the visitors ranks. The ball took a wicked deflection off County defender Andrew Davies and wrong footed Aaron McCarey in goal to find the opposite corner. We took the game by the scruff of the neck and minutes later Tansey brought out a good save from McCarey from a free kick wide on the Inverness left, the keeper tipping the ball over the bar. Ross Draper drifted a header back towards goal but it went narrowly over the bar from a deep cross as we tried to extend our lead. Carl Tremarco might feel he should have done better as well when presented with an opportunity to score. Costly misses as it turned out. County broke forward and Curran missed a golden opportunity to level matters. A deep cross found him at the back post all on his own but he contrived to miss the target from just six yards. It was Inverness that were still turning the screw though and Tansey hit a thunderous shot from twenty-five yards that McCarey did well to parry. A foot either side and he would have had no chance of touching it. From the resultant clearance, Inverness burst forward again Henri Anier setting up Billy Mckay but under pressure his close range strike cannoned off the bar, the rebound just evading Carl Tremarco's head before being cleared by a grateful County defence. Fon Williams was eventually called into serious action in the 81'st minute as he tipped over a Milan Lalkovic shot from distance. The warning was not heeded and when we failed to deal properly with a County attack, from the resultant throw in Alex Schalk latched onto the ball in the box, turned and fired high behind Fon Williams to make this feel like a defeat. Still time for substitute Dean Ebbe to try his luck from the edge of the box but his shot leaked to the left of goal and that was about it, game over and a better point for County than it was for Inverness. Full Time 1-1 So, the Highlands belong to Ross County for this season, but there will be one more derby to come and neither club are clear of the threat of relegation yet. It could be a season defining game for either club, What did we learn from that game? County are no better than us, but our poor start to the campaign and two derby losses see us in this predicament and not them. Richie Foran didn't cover himself in glory with his team selection and strategy. No width, no pace, no clean sheet and not killing the game off when we were on top all cost us dear. Why did he not bring on the substitutes earlier? We were crying out for fresh legs to further stretch the overworked visitors defence ten minutes before they equalised. Everyone could see that, County shuffled theirs effectively; we paid the price. Not a great crowd for the most crucial Highland derby ever, but those that were there gave the side plenty of encouragement. Overall, a draw was the most deserving of results. It's not the result we had hoped for but it's not a disaster. We climbed above Accies on goal difference and gained a point on Motherwell. Next game is at home to Kilmarnock and we really need to start turning draws into victories. PerfICT posted his Inverness player ratings on CTO. Can't argue with these really and like most, picked out Greg Tansey as MotM. Fon Williams: 6. Apart from a tip over the bar in the second half, I can't remember him having a save to make. Raven: 8. Had Gardyne in his pocket for most of the game. Excellent. Warren: 6. Not so exposed for pace in the 5 at the back formation, but was skinned by Gardyne a couple of times. McCart: 7. Really starting to show his potential. One absolute crunching tackle in the first half was a joy watch. Laing: 7. Solid all game. Tremarco: 8. Another excellent game from our player of the season. Unlucky not to score in 2nd half. Tansey: 9. Without doubt his best game of the season. Deserved his goal. Draper: 8. Always plays well against County and didn't disappoint. Vigurs: 7. Easily his best performance of the season. Excellent right foot shot that clipped the bar early on and good distribution. Anier: 6. Better from him, but first touch let him down quite often. Mckay: 7. Worked his socks off with fairly poor service. Really unlucky with the shot off the bar that would have killed the game. Polworth: 6. Certainly not his best game, but picked out Tansey for the goal. Also wound Gardyne up, which always deserves credit! Foran: 5. Clearly does not like playing with width up front. Did he miss a trick by not playing Cole and King, or was the formation right to nullify County's attack? Personally, I prefer the 4-2-3-1 formation, with pace out wide, but the players almost made the 3 centre halves formation work. His half time talk certainly did the trick. Referee: 6. Did well to keep his cards in his pocket for most of the game. A couple of penalty appeals for County...think he got those right too. . Full Match Available On Demand Now at http://buff.ly/2nmreVu (Site Registration Required) for only £5. Footage from SPFL website Date: 18/03/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 4123 Referee: Crawford Allan Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon Williams; Raven, Warren, Laing, McCart, Tremarco, Draper, Tansey, Vigurs (Polworth, 42), Anier (Ebbe, 89), Billy Mckay Subs (not used): Hoban, Brad Mckay, King, Cole, Boden Scorers: Tansey (48) Booked: Tremarco (88) Sent Off: none Ross County: 1 Lineup: McCarey; Gardyne (Lalkovic, 80), Fraser, Davies, van der Weg, Naismith, Boyce, Chow, Routis (O'Brien, 78), Schalk, Curran (Dow, 85) Subs (not used): Foden, Gobern, Tumilty, Dykes. Booked: Naismith Scorers: Schalk (86) Booked: Naismith (52) Sent Off: none a
  24. So, who does own the Highlands? Ross County make the short trek over the bridge to face Inverness in a crucial showdown as both clubs fight for their Premiership survival in what has become a relegation derby with another one to come before the end of the season. Tough times for both Highland clubs. And they don't come much tougher than this. A local derby at the wrong end of the table with points needed by both clubs. The Highlands were predominantly ours, but this has been a substandard transitional season for Inverness, with County faring marginally better. This could change on Saturday. Is it a must win game? Possibly not, but it's certainly a must not lose game. Inverness took a small step forward last weekend with a scarcely deserved but crucial point at Firhill, Gary Warren scoring with the last touch of the game. It was a vital one though as his header from a deep Billy King cross found the bottom corner to cancel out Kris Doolan's opener for Partick. Foran suffered badly from a lack of available players for this one with Ross Draper and Carl Tremarco suspended and the pacey Jake Mulraney injured and Aaron Doran out for the rest of the season. It showed in his team selection so a point at Partick is not to be scoffed at given our deficiencies. County at one point this season looked good for a top-six place, but their form of late has been that of a relegation threatened side. Their good work at Tynecastle was undone as Killie came North and went home with all three points. A late Kris Boyd counter was the difference between the sides after Conor Sammon and Liam Boyce had scored earlier in the game. That turnaround and our late point at Partick means that there are only four points between the sides now. Both clubs have picked up just seven points over their last ten games, County with two wins and a draw. One of those wins was a 3-2 victory in the last derby with Liam Boyce bagging a brace and Martin Woods notching the other. We toiled that day but goals from Carl Tremarco and Alex Fisher gave us some hope although it was a case of too little too late. County also won the first derby 3-2 with Boyce claiming a hat-trick that day. Scott Boden and Ross Draper scored for Inverness in another game where we fell short of the mark. Strangely enough, we have scored two more goals than County, once more it's the defence that has been letting us down with County conceding five less than us. In truth, there's little between the sides, yet County manager Jim McIntyre is still searching for a route into the top-six. That has long been closed for Inverness as Richie Foran realised avoiding relegation is the priority. Sadly, if neither club find a bit of form going into the final games of the season, then relegation is a distinct possibility for both clubs. Thankfully, Hamilton and Motherwell are still in the mix for that unwanted position. Even a play-off game presumably against either Dundee United or Falkirk would not guarantee safety, so the battle is well and truly on to get to tenth place and avoid the dreaded drop and all the unwanted baggage that goes with it. Richie Foran will be without Josh Meekings, Ryan Esson, Aaron Doran and Lewis Horner. Kevin McNaughton came through a development game in midweek unscathed and took it in his stride. However, a frantic derby may be a bit of a risk given the circumstances. Jake Mulraney missed out last week and we could do with his electifying pace out wide. Hopefully he has recovered fully from his injury. Youngster Jamie McCart on loan from Celtic has been called into the Scotland u21 squad after some promising displays for Inverness, so congratulations to him. Jim McIntyre will be hoping to have Scott Fox back in goal for this one. Chris Burke, Tony Dingwall and Ian McShane are all out for the rest of the season. Jay McEvely will miss this weekend and Andrew Davies, Scott Fox and Martin Woods will be given every opportunity to make the derby. Alex Shalk has a broken bone in his hand but is expected to be included in the squad. So, problems for County on the injury front as well. It will be interesting to see if either boss has placed his cards on the table or will there be any surprises included in the starting line-ups. tm4tj prediction:- County are on a poor run just now and we have shown some battling qualities over the last few games that was missing earlier in the season. Injuries are still causing havoc with our team selections with Meekings and Doran out for the season and Esson struggling. It's great to have Billy Mckay back with us, but if we don't play to his strengths, then he would be as well sitting in the stand. He was isolated at Partick last week but with home advantage I expect us to get bodies forward to give him some assistance. County have won the two previous derby's, but the tide is turning at a crucial stage of the season. Liam Boyce scored his first goal of 2017 last week and if we can keep him quiet, then I will be looking for three points to bring County right down into the relegation mire. Only ten games left to save our season, and on derby day, other games of interest to County and Inverness: Hamilton visit Rangers, Motherwell host St Johnstone and Killie and Partick play each other. Fingers crossed, results favour the Highlands. Richie Foran & Henri Anier look forward to the derby............
  25. Gary has the final say. Inverness snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat at Firhill thanks to a last second Gary Warren header. It could prove to be a crucial point for Foran's men as late goals in other games around the country kept us in touch at the foot of the table. Kris Doolan looked to have given a dominant Partick all three points but Warren answered his critics in the best possible fashion. Immortal Howden Ender ventured North to the bistro's and wine bars of Maryhill and has this report for us. Read on. Gary Warren's last-minute, last touch, injury time (offside ) header saved our bacon in Maryhill. Great sliding celebration and 194 Invernessians went ballistic once again. We don't usually have any luck at Firhill but we got dollops of it yesterday. We didn't deserve a point but WTF Kris Doolan's 10th goal of the season looked to have earned Plastic Whistle their fourth straight Premiership win. They actually looked like a good footballing team but more like a Spanish outfit than from the hipster West End of Glesga. But good old Gary Warren nodded home at the far post for the Highlanders, who had a first-half strike from Henri Anier disallowed with Billy Mckay standing offside. We had the first effort of the match when Greg Tansey fired a 25-yard shot wide and he followed that up with 3 or 4 others which all went off target, other than a tame back-pass free kick. But at least he had a go !!. But that was their our only real threat as the Maryhill Magyars totally dominated possession and we either hoofed or gave them the ball back. "Musthavea Walrus look-alike, sound alike" was proving to be a handful and got the home fans MOM. Warren was the man to mark him but he was played wide right of a three man defence !! Early injuries to Abdul Osman and Lawless should have helped us to but feckin didn't. Lawless hadn't even be replaced and they were down to 10 men when Anier produced his only "effort" of the day and we thought that we had stolen an equaliser. But the flag went up for offside against wee Billy. Need to see the highlights BUT if he didn't touch it that would have been mightily harsh. It would have been great to have gone in 1-0 up but 0-0 was undeserved but happy to take it. But in the 56th minute the DOOLAN inevitably put the Whistle ahead and many of us braced ourselves fer a Hamilton away repeat. Thankfully our shaky defence all of a sudden began to look resolute or did the Whistle sit back on their Laurel or Hardy's. And even the shaky Fon Williams looked safer and produced what I can only describe as a "World Cup save" and it probably also saved our season. AND THEN two minutes into the two minute allotted stoppage time Gary Warren rose at the back post (looking suspiciously offside ) to head in the equaliser from Billy King's cross. 194 Invernessians applauded the sliding celebration an "oh, oh Gary Warren filled the Maryhill air and many Plastic Whistle supporters were either on their way oot or had feckin left already. FON WILLIAMS Still looked shaky and I shudder when anything goes at him but his second half performance literally saved our bacon. WARREN Played on the right of a three man defence for ALL of the game. Give me a break but our saviour once again. LAING Did OK in the central position. He, like many others, didn't seem to understand our system but he stood his ground and can only get better. McCART Bet he never witnessed anything like this at Parkdread !! But as with Laing he stood his ground. BRAD MACKAY Played in yet another position - like a right sided wing back. And he got plenty of space and plenty of the ball. He did OK but he simply didn't know how to play in that position. RAVEN Played in the left sided wing back position but he popped up all over the place. What a gut-busting performance. Eat, Sleep, Raven, Repeat - MOM by a feckin country mile. TANSEY Now that was more like the Tansey of old. Like Raven he was clearly motoring at 100%. Only player who looked comfortable on the ball, passed successfully, looked to shoot and very close to MOM. POLWORTH I thought that he put in a lot of effort and was clearly the runner fer Tansey and Vigurs. He did not deserve to be substituted and appears to have become the whipping boy. VIGURS Best footballer in the team - Most skillful player in the squad - One of my faves - BUT if I could have got on to the pitch and past the stewards I would have slapped him. He feckin gave up. DISGRACEFUL and should have been hooked instead of Polworth. But he still managed to get another yellow card !! ANIER Sorry but why did he even start ? He looks like the mercenary that he is. Except he is sticking his head in the feckin sand rather than fighting. BILLY Mckay If there ever was a player to feel sorry for - enuff said !! Took King on in the 62nd minute and played him where ? Answers on a postcard please. Took Cole and Boden on in the 81st minute for the ineffectual Vigurs and Anier. Probably saved us the point and we pressed Whistle. But Cole in central midfield !! Richie Foran said : "It's a huge point today. (No **** Sherlock). I thought it was a very close game (what !!), but we've played against, for me, a top-four side today (what!!) . They are an excellent team, strong aggressive, can pass the ball and have goal scorers (what!!), so it's a big point. I always believed we'd score (what!!) and we've scored a lot of late goals this season. If you put balls in the box you've got a chance (what!! - when!!). It was a great leap [by Gary Warren] and a great finish. It was a good ball hung up by Billy King. "I'm delighted for the players and we're going in now to two home games. Results have gone our way, so it sets it up for a cracking game of football next week against Ross County." OK lets sum up in a nice, positive manner. We got out of the Jail End yesterday. Any of us would have taken a point. Can see the reason for playing 3-5-2 but why not with King and Cole wide ? Or why didn't we change it earlier ? We were terrible for most of the 92 minutes and 33 seconds. With Draper and Tremarco back and getting back to a well worked system then we can get 6 out of 6 points at the Dump. But I don't feel comfortable singing "WE ARE STAYING UP " YET Match footage from SPFL website. will be available soon. Date: 11/03/17 Venue: Firhill Stadium, Glasgow Attendance: 3082 Referee: Willie Collum Partick Th: 1 Lineup: Cerny, Dumbuya, Booth, Lindsay, Osman (Amoo 33), Doolan, Erskine (Elliott 89), Lawless (Azeez 43), Barton, Keown, Edwards Subs (not used): Ridgers, Nisbet, McCarthy, Lamont Scorers: Doolan (56) Booked: Amoo (83) Sent Off: none Inverness CT: 1 Lineup: Fon-Williams, Raven, Warren, Polworth (King 62), Vigurs (Cole 81), McCart, W.McKay, Tansey, Laing, B.McKay, Anier (Boden 81) Subs (not used): Hoban, McNaughton, Ebbe, Fisher Scorers: Warren (92) Booked: Vigurs (21), McCart (45) Sent Off: none a
  26. Six-Pointers from here on in! It's all six pointers from here on in as we travel to Firhill to take on Partick Thistle in the Premiership looking for more points to add to the rather unexpected but nonetheless welcome four we gleaned from Hearts and the Rangers recently. Despite those fantastic results, other clubs have not been so keen to help us out and we still find ourselves at the foot of the table, two points behind Hamilton. We suffered a setback in our last outing even before we kicked off against Celtic. Hamilton never read the script properly and defeated Aberdeen on the Friday night to leapfrog us in the table. With County getting a bonus win at Tynecastle on the Saturday and Killie losing to Motherwell on Sunday, Inverness were the big losers going down 0-4 to a rampant Celtic. After a battling first 45, we were the architects of our own downfall, gifting goals like they were going out of fashion. But enough of the doom and gloom. The good news is that we don't have to play Celtic again and our fate is in our own hands over the next eleven games, the most important in our history. There were plenty of positives against Celtic despite the crushing scoreline although they were undone by some calamitous errors that verged on comedy. We were never going to win this game, but after gifting a second and third goal our task was well beyond us and we had to take our punishment as a result. Partick have been one of the success stories of this season and we go down to Firhill with a less than impressive record there in recent years. Only four wins in our seventeen visits, one of which was a Scottish Cup game in 2015, that was a good year if I recall correctly. Others were a First Division game in 2010, our first visit in 1998 and one at the tail end of last season when the campaign was done and dusted (1-4). That was our best ever result against the Harry Wragg's Partick have been a bit of a bogey team for us although overall the stats will show that victories are fairly even. Historically, home advantage seems to prevail and at Firhill we have six defeats, four wins and seven draws. Our last encounter was at Inverness where the sides played out an unspectacular 0-0 draw. The first game at Partick ended in defeat for Inverness by 2-0, Foran's first game in charge. Goals by Chris Erskine and David Amoo gave Partick an untroubled victory. We all knew this early in the season that scoring goals would not be our strong point as we struggled to create anything. What we did not foresee was that our normally reliable defence would be even worse; and here we are today, bottom of the league on merit. Partick's last game saw them limp out of the Scottish Cup in a rather tame affair at the hands of Aberdeen, but in the League they have made their way under the radar into the top-six, ten points above Inverness. Goals for are similar, but once again it's our defensive record that is the main issue. Richie Foran spoke to the BBC after his first game in charge at Firhill back in August. I wonder what he thinks of his comments now? And who is Scott Boden? "It's only early. You don't become a bad team overnight. We're going to stay positive. "I thought we had poor imagination in the final third. With the quality that we have up there I expect a little bit more but we didn't get enough help around Scott Boden. "(It's a) disappointing result but I can't be too hard on the lads. They've been magnificent since I've come in. "I think we're in for a good season. We've got the quality. We just need to work on a few bits and pieces." Alan Archibald has doubts over Danny Devine and Christie Elliott after the pair sustained knocks during last weekend's defeat by Aberdeen. On-loan Crawley winger Jason Banton (groin) could be involved but long-term absentees Sean Welsh (foot), Ryan Scully (shoulder), Stuart Bannigan and Gary Fraser (both knee) remain out. Richie Foran hopes to have Jake Mulraney back after he missed the Celtic game. He will be needed as Aaron Doran is reported to be out for the season after undergoing surgery on his knee. The operation was not on the same knee that has been a problem over the last two seasons. Carl Tremarco will be out, either through injury or suspension and Ross Draper is suspended for one match, he will be a big miss. Josh Meekings and Lewis Horner are long term casualties but Kev McNaughton is making good progress and was on the bench for the Celtic game. Ryan Esson has returned to training and Horner is ready to begin legwork. Other crucial fixtures over this coming weekend that will have a bearing on our destiny. Hearts v Hamilton, Aberdeen v Motherwell and County v Killie tm4tj prediction:- Eleven games left to save our season. Celtic apart, we have shown some willingness to try and stay in this League with credible draws against Dundee and Hearts and an excellent win over Rangers. Unfortunately other results have meant that we are back on the bottom and we will remain there unless we show a real desire to fight for everything. In Billy Mckay we have one man who can almost work miracles, but he needs help and Jake Mulraney if fit could be his provider, with King on the opposite flank. Our creaking back four have been shuffled more than a deck of cards at a Las Vegas casino, through injury, suspension and parent club ruling. We need our best players on the park and they need to be performing at the top level. Owain Fon Williams has been sloppy lately, but he can perform much better as he has done on occasion, let's hope his confidence is not shattered after that Celtic debacle as we have no suitable cover for him with Esson not fully fit. Partick hold the Indian Sign over us, but I'm hopeful of at least a draw if not a rare win at Firhill. Beware the scalded cat!
  27. Fon Williams in Blunderland Cock up keeper Owain Fon Williams was badly at fault as Celtic cruised home 4-0. The keeper who looked to have recovered from a shaky spell earlier in the season gifted Celtic their second goal and was suspect as they scored a third direct from a free kick after failing to cover his near post. I'm afraid he made a difficult job impossible as Celtic took full advantage from his gaffs to run out 4-0 winners. Scott Sinclair scored an excellent opener after riding a couple of challenges on the stroke of half time. Moussa Dembele poked in the second moments after the break after OFW blundered. Stuart Armstrong scored from that free kick and Dembele finished with aplomb as Celtic clinically hit on the counter. The result was never in doubt, but the manner in which we gifted goals was difficult to take and it undid the good work of the last couple of games. Another big away support filled the South Stand as Celtic kicked off playing towards the bridge end where a noisy and spirited young team took up residence and backed the home side who would be facing a difficult task. The first half was void of any real chances, neither keeper being forced into anything too difficult and maybe that was a good thing as events would unfold. Billy Mckay tried his luck with a low effort that Craig Gordon gathered easily after Billy King linked with Mckay and fed him on the edge of the box. It was a resilient display by Inverness, but just when we thought it was safe to go for the half-time cuppa, Scott Sinclair scored a superb goal. He appeared to be fouled by Draper as he made his way across the edge of our box but he stayed on his feet and rode another challenge before curling a shot beyond the outstretched Fon Williams to bring the first half to a dramatic close, The pressure had been mounting but up to that point we were well in the game without causing too much problems for the visitors. Half Time 0-1 We kicked off the second period and within twelve seconds shot ourselves in the foot. From the kick off the ball went backwards, and when Gary Warren decided to put it all the way back to his keeper there seemed little danger. However Fon Williams miskicked the ball, only succeeding in slicing the ball into the path of Moussa Dembele five yards in front of him. He chipped the ball up in the air and prodded it into the empty net with our blundering keeper lying on the deck looking on. It looked as though that goal sucked the energy and determination right out of the home players and from there on in it was one way traffic. Celtic don't usually need gifts, but when they are presented to them on a plate, it would have been rude not to accept it. Moments later the keeper made amends when he stopped a close range effort on his line but, alas, the damage had been done. Dembele and his strike partner Sinclair were causing problems with their sheer pace, skill levels and movement and from one burst by Dembele he left defenders in his wake before setting up Sinclair who blasted just over. His next thrust saw Celtic win a free kick just wide of the angle of our penalty box. Cross anticipated by all apart from Stuart Armstrong who hit the ball well and it ended up in Fon Williams' net at his near post. More shambolic keeping from the Welsh international who did not cover himself in glory. Cheap goal to lose and Celtic well on top. Liam Polworth woke from his slumber and fired a loose ball on target with a volley but Gordon was equal to it and tipped it over for a corner. That was the nearest we came to scoring whilst Celtic carved out another half dozen chances. The final goal came when Billy King ran out of ideas at the Celtic end, loss possession and when Tierney cracked a long ball forward, Dembele left everyone in his wake before dinking the ball over Fon Williams and into the empty net. Quality goal from a quality player. Full Time 0-4 Celtic were good value for their win with Dembele and Sinclair outstanding. Tierney is one of the hottest prospects around and the whole team oozes class from back to front and right through the bench as well. It's difficult for any team to match them at the moment, but we did just that in a keenly contested first half. However the wheels fell off with the errors and the desire to compete visibly ebbed from the players. No disgrace losing to the best Celtic team for years, but disappointing that we contributed to our own downfall after a promising first forty-five. With that game out of the way, Foran needs to lift the squad for the last eleven games with the Aberdeen one looking like the toughest fixture left. Mind you, in our position at the bottom, they are all tough. Richie Foran was as scathing of his side as any of the fans. Caley boss Richie Foran: "It's extremely disappointing. We lacked courage on the ball, we lacked belief on the ball. I'm not even sure Celtic got out of second gear. We never got going. "I find it hard to think of a player that did well. The whole 11 lacked courage. Off the ball we were OK; on the ball we didn't want to pass forward and take responsibility. "On the counter we had the ability but we didn't have the belief to go with it. It doesn't matter how good Celtic were. We had opportunities to play and get forward but we didn't fancy it. "The second goal was comical. It's embarrassing. But we were poor all over the park. At least three of the goals we conceded were avoidable." tm4tj MotM. Not one Inverness player deserved to be nominated apart from Ross Draper who tried his best. The sponsors MotM went to Polworth. Having a laugh maybe, but the real MotM goes to the young team who tried to drum up support as they waved their flags, sang, jumped around and got right behind the team for the full 93 minutes. Well done lads, it's a pity the team don't have your energy and enthusiasm at the moment. Look away now if you are easily upset............. Date: 01/03/17 Venue: Caledonian Stadium Attendance: 5948 Referee: Andrew Dallas Inverness CT: 0 Lineup: Fon Williams, Raven, Laing, Warren, B.McKay, Polworth, Draper, Tansey, King, W.Mckay (Anier 81), Cole (Vigurs 64) Subs (not used): Hoban, McNaughton, Ebbe, Boden, Fisher Scorers: none Booked: Laing (65) Sent Off: none Celtic: 4 Lineup: Gordon, Lustig, Sviatchenko, Boyata, Tierney, Bitton, Brown (Henderson 78), Armstrong, Mackay-Steven (McGregor 69), Sinclair, Dembele Subs (not used): de Vries, Toure, Izaguirre, Gamboa, Griffiths. Scorers: Sinclair (43), Dembele (46, 73), Armstrong (66) Booked: none Sent Off: none a
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