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.