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Inverness CT -V- Raith Rovers - Preview - Matchnight


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Down Down Deeper and Down

 

After the lethargic jaded performance on Tuesday night comes the visit of second place Raith Rovers, the first of a double header against the Kirkaldy side who we play again next Tuesday night at Starks Park. First up we are at the Caledonian Stadium where points are at a premium for both clubs but for different reasons. This game can be seen on BBC Scotland on Friday night with a 7:45 kick-off.

This season has been a disaster on and off the park. The pandemic apart, we are at an all time low being beaten regularly by clubs that have struggled to get points off us over the years through all the divisions. Now we can't beat Alloa home or away, Queen of the South, Morton, Arbroath are all jumping on the bandwagon as we struggle to perform and points are being given away like nobodies business. What's going on? Managerless, aimless, leaderless, goalless, headless, gutless, useless, hapless and hopeless are all being used to describe our demise. At this moment in time I don't fancy our chances in a play-off situation with any club, or Buckie Thistle in the Scottish Cup for that matter. It's time to smell the coffee and get our heads out of our ar5e5 before it's too late. Should the unthinkable happen and we get consumed by relegation then that could trigger the death knoll of our club. Part time football beckons, and with that comes anonymity and even less income. It's a slippery slope that's so easy to slide down but one that's very difficult to climb back up.

 

What can be done to halt the slide? Well, picking up three points would be very welcome but that's not so easy given our fixture schedule and small squad. Another factor in all this has been the stop start season and poor playing conditions. I know I know, it's the same for both sides I hear you say, but conditions like the Morton game levelled out the skill factor in favour of the technically poorer squad whilst ensuring we were brought down to a lower level. Yep, it's clutching at straws, but it's all we have at the moment. We need a leader on the park and direction from the dugout. That's not happening at the moment. Injuries have crippled our season and even Pixie Lott makes us look sh!te.

Unfortunately, the league table does not lie and prior to the Raith game we sit second bottom of the table having all but caught up on our games in hand. (if you click on team names it opens up more stats, H2H, etc.)

    Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Hearts 19 13 3 3 46 21 25 42
2. Raith Rovers 17 8 4 5 32 24 8 28
3. Dunfermline 17 7 6 4 26 19 7 27
4. Queen of the South 19 8 3 8 30 37 -7 27
5. Dundee 17 6 6 5 31 32 -1 24
6. Morton 19 5 7 7 17 24 -7 22
7. Ayr United 18 5 6 7 22 21 1 21
8. Arbroath 19 5 6 8 17 24 -7 21
9. Inverness CT 18 4 8 6 25 23 2 20
10. Alloa Athletic 19 3 5 11 21 42 -21 14

 

Saturday games in the Championship, all 3:00pm kick-off.

Dundee v Arbroath

Dunfermline v Morton

Hearts v Ayr United

Queens v Alloa Athletic

Our record over the years against Raith Rovers is one of total dominance. It's almost 21 years since Raith Rovers last won, a 2-1 win in the Highlands when first half goals by Jay Stein and Ivan Mballa were enough to see off a depleted Caley Jags who replied through Paul Sheerin ten minutes before the end. Since then we have been totally dominant winning eighteen games and drawing just three. Unfortunately our recent demise could result in another team changing the balance of power.

 

Last 10 Competitive Meetings with Rovers going back to Saturday, April 24th, 2004 (click on scores to open more stats, highlights, reports etc)
win.png
2 - 0
(H)
draw.png
3 - 3
(A)
win.png
4 - 1
(H)
win.png
2 - 1
(H)
win.png
1 - 0
(H)
win.png
4 - 3
(H)
win.png
4 - 0
(A)
win.png
1 - 0
(H)
win.png
1 - 0
(A)
win.png
1 - 0
(A)

 

We played Rovers in a League Cup game at the start of the season and that ended in an entertaining 3-3 draw with Rovers getting the penalty shoot-out bonus point. The second encounter was the first game with fans allowed in. A covid restricted crowd saw Inverness tame the high scoring Rovers and emerge from the game with a deserved 2-0 win with goals from James Keatings and Scott Allardice. We sat 5th in the table after that game, only three points behind Raith in second place. After trouncing Queen of the South the following week at Palmerston we were level with Raith on ten points. There was little evidence of the slump that was about to follow once the postponements set in. We even managed to draw with Dundee, surrendering a lead to a late goal. Then came Alloa. They hold the Indian sign over us recently and if that is our benchmark, then the rot set in after another failure to beat the Wasps. Only one win in ten games since the defeat to Alloa, and that was something of a surprise result at Ayr.

That is simply not the form of a team looking for promotion, but it certainly smacks of relegation. A couple of the players have been speaking in the local press, Allardice and Duffy have used the word embarrassing and I can't disagree with that. They are implying that it's all down to the players to dig their way out of this hole. I can't disagree with that. Allardice added we should forget all talk about promotion, can't disagree with that either, he is spot on. I suppose it's good to know that the players realise we have a problem. Let's see if we get a reaction to our dismal performance against Morton where the most disappointing aspect was our inability to create enough chances coupled with some bog standard Caley Jags shoddy defending. Time to change the record guys. Brad Mckay is another who has stuck his oar in as he said "if anyone thinks Inverness Caledonian Thistle doesn’t care about bouncing back from their poor form and fighting against relegation, they’re wrong." Well, the fans are waiting guys, show us you care and let's get a result please, preferably a positive one!

Championship Managerial Merry go Round: I see that Morton and Ayr United have made their moves to escape relegation. Morton have dumped Antone McElhone from the gaffers seat since they beat us and in comes the experienced Gus McPherson.  Ayr United have signed on former Livingston and Morton manager David Hopkin. Meanwhile, we have under fire Neil McCann still helping out. Arbroath's manager Dick Campbell has been awarded Manager of the Month after a series of great results in February. Three wins and two draws tipped the scales in Dick's favour. Makes our 1-1 draw at Gayfield feel like a result!

***Latest Team News***

Neil McCann will have to decide whether he plays James Keatings or leaves him out against his future employers. Aaron Doran managed some game time against Morton but it was under difficult conditions. Kevin McHattie made the bench with Lewis Toshney on it for the previous game, so hopefully these defenders will be ready for selection soon as we need a steady hand at the back to compliment the brashness of youth. Up front we missed the pace of Miles Storey against Morton.

Raith Rovers have been steadily building their squad and have a few to look out for. We are well aware of the trickery of Kai Kennedy, something we sadly lack since he left us. He will be joined next season by James Keatings who has signed a pre-contract at Stark's Park. Hell mend him! Manny Duku was well policed last time at Inverness but he is a goal threat. Raith will be without the services of defender Fernandy Mendy for three weeks as 'Nando' has been called up to play in the African Nations Cup for Guinea Bissau, which means he misses tonight's game at Inverness.

More Pre-Match info/video will be added when available...

 

 

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Faith restored after seeing a great battling performance. 

Harsh imo.  Were we watching the same match?

The most glaring stat I got from the game was this. Where else could you replace one striker with another and half of the total sum of their surnames are u.  I give you Duku replacing Ugwu.   

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Big performance required tomorrow. Arbroath, Morton, Ayr all facing difficult away matches.

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  • tm4tj changed the title to Inverness CT -V- Raith Rovers - Preview - Matchnight

Should've used the PSG technique and had a fireworks display outside the Raith hotel all night...though, I doubt it would make any difference on whether we'd get any points from the game...

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1 hour ago, Jack Waddington said:

Should've used the PSG technique and had a fireworks display outside the Raith hotel all night...though, I doubt it would make any difference on whether we'd get any points from the game...

Then you'd have half of Inverness on Facebook in an uproar that their dogs were being upset. 

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If we dont get some kind of reaction from the players tonight we never will. McCann had a go in his interview after the Morton game then Allardice and Duffy have come out with stuff about how we've been embarrassing and not good enough and been in a relegation scrap. We'll see if talk is cheap or are the players up for the fight after tonight. Huge game and for some reason I think we might get the result. Maybe based more on hope than anticipation though. 

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Unless Toddy is at CB then I guess it's something like this:

Mckay - Devine - Deas

MacGregor - Carson - Welsh - Allardice - MacKay

Todorov - Sutherland

And Ridgers obviously...

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Down to the bare bones by the looks of it. What is going on???

 

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I’m really uneasy. 3 5 2 is fine, but normally we’d have full backs playing as wing backs whereas we haven’t.

McCann just said some of the starting 11 are carrying knocks.

Only three experienced players on the bench, 2 are full backs and the other is going to Raith in the summer!

Let’s hope we get a pleasant surprise between now and the full time whistle!

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Carson at right back according to BBC commentator. We will see soon enough!

Based on first two minutes Carson is right back. Duffy not fully fit?

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7 minutes ago, Moogthurso said:

Tonights going to be a good night. 

Have faith or hide behind a large sofa. 

4 - 1 to   caley....hat trick for mackay.

 

Brad?

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1 minute ago, WYNESS101 said:

Ridgers

Carson Mckay Devine Deas

Welsh Allardice

MacKay Sutherland MacGregor

Toddy

That's how it looks like to me

Agreed. Wonder if the 3 behind Toddy will rotate. 

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