Newly promoted Hearts will be our next problem as we take them on this Friday evening at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in a televised match that kicks off at 19:45.
Another tough task ahead as one of the front runners make their second journey to the Highlands this season, having already edged out Ross County 2-1 in Dingwall.
Inverness have been in potential relegation form since the start of the season and are without a win since the Scottish Cup Final against Falkirk. That does seem like a long time ago now. We can't buy a win just now and our chances of that happening have been compounded by the sending off of the wreckless Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo in our last game away to Dundee. How dare he try that on the humble Nick Ross.
The Jambos have continued their Championship winning ways into the Premiership and have earned their third position with five wins on the bounce before they were overturned by Hamilton Accies last time out as they ended the game with ten men. That red card has been rescinded though and Callum Paterson will be available for selection against Inverness.
Who are the players entrusted with putting Heart of Midlothian back on the footballing map. In came defenders Blazej Augustyn and Nigerian international Juwon Oshaniwa. Three forward players also joined the maroon platoon in the shape of Igor Rossi Branco, Juanma Manuel Delgado Lloria and Gavin Reilly who was plucked from Queen of the South. Out went Kevin McHattie, Scott Robinson and Dale Carrick to Kilmarnock. Brad McKay is off to Perth, Gary Oliver went South to Queens. Jason Holt and Danny Wilson are at Ibrox. Those are the main arrivals and departures and Robbie Neilson will feel that his squad will be good enough to compete at the top end of the table this year. Hearts have also added Danny Swanson to their impressive squad. The former Dundee United midfielder joins them until the end of the season as Neilson assembles a squad capable of pushing on from last years dominating performances.
Inverness were involved in transfer activity at the end of the last window. We had some good news, and some bad news. I'll start with the bad news. The inevitable happened as Ryan Christie has signed a four year deal at Parkhead to play for his boyhood heroes. The good news is that he will be staying with us until January before Celtic will probably recall him. I'm sure every fan will wish him well in his career after Inverness. That doesn't mean we are all happy about it, but unfortunately this was going to happen sooner or later. We also acquired the services of two forward players in Miles Storey and Tobi Sho-Silva. Storey has arrived from Swindon and has been capped by England at u19 level. He had not made the hoped for breakthrough at Swindon where he came through the ranks and had been farmed out to Portsmouth and Newport County. He also had talks with St Mirren but nothing came of that. Sho-Silva joins from Charlton and both players appear to be stop gap loan signings until January brought about by our lack of quality in front of goal.
Before the international break, we squandered a one goal advantage at Dens park to end up with a draw. David Raven had given Inverness the lead on the hour but Kane Hemmings prodded home a very late leveller for a share of the points. We would have taken a point before the game, but it was disappointing to concede so late in the game for what would have been our first win of the season. However, the performance was still not encouraging and we are not creating nearly enough opportunities to set us up for our first three pointer.
Hearts fared little better by going down at Hamilton, having fought back from being a goal down to go ahead, only for Accies to snatch all three points after Hearts were wrongly reduced to ten men. King and Paterson were the Jambos scorers in a see-saw game. That was their first defeat this term, and the Accies have now beaten Inverness and Hearts in successive games. Nonetheless, it has been an excellent start to life at the top table for the capital club.
The treatment table has been kinder to Inverness this last fortnight with news that Josh Meekings, Ricjie Foran and James Vincent could be fit enough to be included in the squad for this encounter. However, Jordan Roberts could be out for a further six weeks with an aggravated groin problem. So he can be added to the long term list of Brill, Warren and Doran. It's been a tough start to the season for Inverness injury wise, let's hope that eases a bit in the near future. Not helping is Mutombo as he will be sitting this one out after his ridiculous red card against Dundee.
Hearts will have Callum Paterson available after his sending off was overturned. Neilson has a nearly full set of players to choose from and the added bonus of latest signing Danny Swanson. Soufian El Hassnaoui is the only injury worry.
tm4tj prediction:- Our troubles are well documented this season and I don't know where or when our first win will come. We can hopefully shore up the defence a bit once Meekings gets back to full fitness, but that won't happen overnight. Our new strikers will need time to get to know how we roll up here so I won't be looking for miracles this Friday. Unlike Juanma, our Spanish striker has not exactly set the heather on fire. It may be time to try something different as it's not happening for Dani at the moment. Maybe the competition will spur him on to greater things. Juanma has netted four times this season and Osman Sow is a big threat as well. Reilly is scoring too and Hearts attacking flair could prove too much for our bedraggled troops. We have only lost one more goal than Hearts, but they have scored 15 times to our 4, and therein lies the problem. Given that horrendous stat, I can't see us picking up anything against Hearts, other than a thrashing. Comfortable win for the visitors by a couple of goals and little in the way of goalmouth action for Inverness. I'll still go along though and keep my fingers and toes crossed for a much healthier outcome.
Yogi believes otherwise and thinks we are a match for Hearts. He will probably be tempted to throw in one of his new attacking options at the deep end in the hope that we can end our dismal run.