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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.
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