Summer of discontent.
Morton are the visitors this weekend as our summer of discontent continues with tales of woe clouding the atmosphere at the Caledonian Stadium where the stench of relegation is getting right up everyone's nose.
New chairman Willie Finlayson is set to leave his position less than three months after taking the hot seat over. Graham Rae pictured on the left will be the new Chairman. The club are in such a shambles at the moment that the board felt they needed to send out a statement to the fans to try and quell any unrest amongst the support. There's a lot of content in the message, so I'll just post a link to the Official site. Board Statement
However, there is plenty for the fans to feel uneasy about. Here's a few of the Premier League gaffs since relegation. The signing of a manager who apparently never actually applied for the job. The season ticket fiasco that has since been addressed. The media and technology side of things are now a laughing stock given the release of Duncan Shearer by text (allegedly), the Twitter account showing links to naughty sites and the general lack of information coming forth from the official website. We failed to progress in a relatively comfortable group in the Betfred League Cup. We have signed some utter useless jobbing players, some of them masquerading as footballers. The final straw this week saw stalwart midfielder Ross Draper move over the Bridge to our local rivals to join former legendary Caley Jags striker Billy Mckay at Dingwall. Talk about rubbing our noses in it. All this after the club that has gone from Bucharest to Brechin in less than 2 years get an absolute mauling at East End Park with Dunfermline thrashing us 5-1, and we got off lightly at that. ICT Chris summed it up neatly on the forum: "The only way it could be worse is if Finlayson invited a few Japanese trawler boats to dock outside the stadium and slaughter some of the dolphins".
It's going to be a long season if we continue in this vein of form, and given that the quality of our defence appears to be the worst in the history of the club, the midfield is lacking confidence and leadership and the strikeforce is non-existent, then I believe we might be making the play-offs at the wrong end of the table.
There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, but it's a long shot. Talk of an injection of cash coming soon might enable us to strengthen the squad. I'll not be holding my breath on that one, but here's hoping the new chairman will uphold the boards statement.
To the game in hand, Morton come North on the back of a 4-1Championship thrashing of their local rivals St Mirren. This result hinged on a sending off and a pair of penalties for Morton, (Michael Tidser scoring both), with Jack Baird of St Mirren seeing red. That result gives them four points after an opening day goalless draw at Dumbarton. The big derby win came out of the blue after results in the group stages of the League Cup saw Morton win two, lose one and draw one. Like us, they did not make the next stage of the competition. Since beating St Mirren, they have gone out of the Challenge Cup going down 2-0 at home to Livingston. That's a result that did not please manager Jim Duffy who said “We made a couple of changes, but nothing overly dramatic; all the boys have been in and around the first team, so it’s not as if we threw in all young boys.
“There wasn’t a department that played well, taking Derek Gaston out of it. The defence was poor, the midfield looked dead on their feet, and up front there was no spark.
“I feel like the fans in a sense – frustrated. I’m angry, and I think if the players are honest with themselves, they’ll know they totally underperformed tonight.”
We have hit rock bottom after losing both of our opening fixtures in the Championship. The defeat against United was narrow but not the end of the world. However, the defeat at Dunfermline was crushing and seemed like the end of the world. We are shipping goals at an alarming rate and creating very little. The defence is a shambles from the keeper out. The midfield has a Ross Draper & Greg Tansey size hole in it, and that shows up the vulnerability of the players left to fill that void. Up front we seem to have strikers that are not really strikers. Willing runners maybe, but not the type of poacher we have been used to. John Robertson hopes to turn this around given time. I hope he is right.
We have a decent head to head against Morton with nine wins from twelve games, and there were some thumping victories amongst those games. Unfortunately that was in a previous life and it will be a foolish person that believes we can pick up where we left off. The last meeting was a Scottish Cup tie in November 2013. We won convincingly 4-0 with Nick Ross scoring just before half time. Billy Mckay scored a couple after the break and Aaron Doran completed the scoring with a penalty at the end. The best result in the Highlands for Morton was a 1-1 draw way back in September 1999. Martin Glancy opened the scoring for Inverness but after going down to ten men, Paddy Connolly equalised to earn a point for Morton in this first division game.
Inverness could be without influential captain Gary Warren who has missed the last few games through injury. Carl Tremarco and Aaron Doran are out for the next few months, and Zak Elbouzedi has not featured since his pre-season injury. We have/are signing Canadian international Charlie Trafford, a midfielder and had former Dundee United defender Coll Donaldson on trial in a midweek game at Nairn. Both are believed to have agreed to sign on.
Morton have just given experienced manager Jim Duffy a two year contract extension. He seems to be doing all the right things at Cappielow and Chairman Douglas Rae is delighted with the way Duffy has tackled his job.
This was the starting eleven against St Mirren. Gaston; Doyle, O'Ware, Lamie, Russell; Forbes, Tidser, Murdoch, Thomson; Quitongo, McHugh. Gary Harkins was on the bench and he has more talent than our entire squad.
tm4tj prediction:- We have not found our feet in the Championship and could be in for more trouble before we see any improvement on and off the park. Jai Quitongo is a bundle of tricks that will cause defenders problems with his pace. The signings of Elsdon and Chalmers has flopped badly with no Gary Warren to keep them right. We need to tighten up at the back and get stuck in across the midfield or it could be another barren day for our strikers. With a bit of fortune, we could get a point, otherwise it will be another harsh lesson in the Championship.