There is a God after all: GAME OFF
A precautionary 08:00 pitch inspection has been arranged for Fir Park ahead of Inverness' visit after strong winds and heavy rain swept across Scotland, the Motherwell pitch not known for keeping the water away at the best of times. However Motherwell officials are confident the fixture will go ahead despite the weathers best efforts to disrupt the schedules. The game is an early kick off at 12:45 for those brave enough to make the trip. Unfortunately referee John Beaton has deemed the pitch unplayable and the game has been called off. Meh!
Inverness travel to Motherwell on Saturday with plenty of trepidation after their poor festive account has failed to produce more than one point from four games, three of which were at home.
Missing James Vincent since the end of September and Captain Richie Foran over the festive games was bad enough, but we will now be without the red carded Ross Draper and possibly even Marley Watkins for the trip to Fir Park. It doesn't get much more difficult does it!
Our Xmas campaign has been a disaster in terms of points gained, league position, team confidence and managerial honeymoon. We have lost ground to two of the current form sides in the division and unfortunately we face both of them in the next few games away from home when we are at our lowest ebb of the season. Great!
Inverness have only one win in their last six games, a 2-0 triumph in Edinburgh over the inexperienced Jambos. On the other hand, Motherwell have won five on the bounce since a 5-0 thrashing from Celtic on the 6th December, a run that sees them sit second in the league, our dismal streak taking us down to fourth, our game in hand against County away not such a good idea now.
John Hughes is getting plenty of stick for the current problems on the park at Inverness but in all honesty a lot of this is out of his control. He has stuck to the tried and tested formulae that got Inverness into the top end of the league, but with Richie Foran out of the running with a shoulder injury lean times have hit the Caley Jags. One issue he could resolve is getting David Raven back in the starting eleven and returning Graeme Shinnie to the left side of the park. Danny Williams has been tried in Foran's absence and is starting to get the hang of it, but Richie Foran he aint. Aaron Doran has gone off the boil at the same time, and the supply Billy McKay requires has dried up. Our once reliable defence has been conceding goals at an alarming rate, and Dean Brill won't be too pleased with his attempt to stop County's second goal on New Years day.
One bright light at the end of the tunnel was the introduction of Ryan Christie in the Celtic game. He only had a few minutes on the park but he carried his dazzling footwork from the u20's games into the first team and might be worth a few more minutes over the coming weeks. Liam Polworth is another knocking at the door and big Toby Agdestein had a decent substitute appearance against County and could be a help to McKay in his quest for the ball.
Motherwell don't really need a boost at the minute, but Lionel Ainsworth has extended his loan until the end of the season. Four goals in four games is a great return from the 26 year old midfielder who packs a ferocious shot, scoring a couple of spectacular goals already this season. With the likes of James MacFadden in their side and the powerful Henri Anier available for at least another couple of weeks this will be a tough nut to crack.
Inverness will be without the red carded Ross Draper for the trip to Fir Park. Wide midfielder Marley Watkins is a doubt, while captain Richie Foran and midfielder James Vincent are out.
Motherwell goalkeeper Gunnar Neilson returns after on-loan Dan Twardzik returned to Dundee after his emergency loan expired. Lee Hollis remains out, as does forward Lee Erwin.
tm4tj prediction:- I'm a bit worried about this clash. We did manage to turn Well over in the first meeting of the season, Foran and McKay doing the damage. Unfortunately without Foran and McKay not seeing enough of the ball times are hard just now. Motherwell on a roll, Inverness pedalling backwards and an understrength squad, the omens are against us. Strangely enough, we are most dangerous when the odds are stacked against us. I'm not sure this time though and we could be looking at damage limitations. My cup is half empty now and I am hoping we keep the score respectable, 2-0 for the Steelmen I'm afraid.
By tm4tj •Motherwell -V- Inverness CT - GAME OFFTeaser Paragraph:
There is a God after all: GAME OFF