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.