693 minutes and counting.
Bottom club Brechin City are next up for Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday evening with a 19:45 kick off scheduled.
City are without a win this season from the twelve league games played and have only two points to show for their efforts. That has planted them firmly at the foot of the table and are no doubt the bookies favourites for automatic relegation. They have scored just eight goals and more importantly have conceded twenty-five. So, scoring 0.6 of a goal a game and losing just over two. That's the form that justifies their position at the moment. On the face of it, City have a lot to do. However, closer inspection shows that their last five league games were tight affairs only losing by one goal in each game. Those defeats were by St Mirren, Morton, Queen of the South, Livingston and Dumbarton. The Dumbarton game was particularly hard to take with the Sons scoring the winner in the 90th minute. And the icing on the cake; it was a Willie Dyer own goal.
Brechin had a Scottish Cup game at Buckie on Saturday and were 2-1 down at the interval. Jordan Sinclair had scored a leveler in the first half and substitute Isaac Layne equalised again on the hour. Layne scored the winner with four minutes left. It may only have been Buckie Thistle, but that was a tremendous and much needed confidence booster for Brechin, and Isaac Layne will be one to watch when they come North on Tuesday night. He may just have played himself into the starting eleven for Tuesday.
Inverness are on a record breaking run at the moment. Seven games without conceding has seen us edge our way up the table. Still a long way to go, but what a transformation from our opening couple of months. Defeat at Dumbarton on 23rd September with Gary Warren red carded saw us only two points better off than Brechin and morale at an all time low. we started the record breaking run with a hard fought goalless draw against Queen of the South. It was not a classic, but a determined effort and the team were under strict orders to keep Queens at bay. It worked and things have looked up ever since. It's great credit to Mark Ridgers and his defence that we have continued that run. Coll Donaldson is doing so well at the moment that captain Gary Warren can not get back in the side just now. Long may it continue.
The manager of the month curse has not struck yet and our last game saw us beat Falkirk 1-0 in the IrnBru cup quarter final. Our previous game was a 0-0 at Livingston. A far cry from the beating we took in Inverness by Livi two months earlier.
Robbo has one or two more players available since the break. Aaron Doran was a surprise substitute against Falkirk. He had played in a charity game at Dingwall, as did Collin Seedorf and Zak Elbouzedi. The injury list is shortening, though the returning players may well need more fitness training before being rushed into a full match. It was great to see Doran back on the park after his two year injury hell and he will be like a new signing when he is fully fit. Jake Mulraney missed the cup game against Falkirk but is available after playing with the Ireland u21 side where he scored a confidence boosting spectacular solo goal. Brad Mckay is suspended which paves the way for Gary Warren to return to the heart of the defence alongside Coll Donaldson.
Darren Dods starting XI at Buckie was: Smith, Crighton, Fusco, Smith, McLean, Watt, Graham, Dale, Dyer, Orsi, Sinclair. On the bench were Love, Layne, O'Neil, Lynas, Spark, O'Neil.
tm4tj Prediction:- Brechin are not the soft touch that their league position suggests. However, having defeated them twice already this season I would expect us to eventually be too strong for them. Comfortable home win after grinding them down. Maybe we can continue the clean sheet run as well, that would be a bonus, but it's the three points that are important here. Jake Mulraney should come back into the starting line-up and that will give us plenty pace up front. He and Connor Bell were starting to form a willing partnership and a couple of assists for Bell from Jake were sowing the seeds for the future.
The Scottish Cup draw has given us an away tie at Premiership club Dundee in January.
On Sunday 26th November, Hibernian will be the challengers for our youth squad in the 4th round of the Scottish Youth Cup. Admission is free, so come along and support the young team. The game kicks of at 13:00.
Watch Jake Mulraney goal from 30 seconds in to this highlights................