Caley Thistle manager John Robertson has redrawn the boundaries on the training pitch this week in preparation for playing on Alloa Athletic’s narrowed surface at Recreation Park today.
The part-time Wasps reduced the dimensions of their pitch in the summer following their promotion to the Championship, cutting off a total of nine metres in an attempt to gain an advantage against full-time opposition.
Alloa, who drew 2-2 at Caledonian Stadium early in the season, have enjoyed a fruitful spell of form and go into today’s game fresh from claiming their first league victory of the campaign against Partick Thistle last weekend.
Robertson expects a difficult encounter against Jim Goodwin’s men, and he said: “They have been threatening this for a while, it’s not a surprise to anybody they have now won. They have been very close on a few occasions.
“Alloa are a threat. They have got some good players in forward areas, they defend robustly.
“They have used the size of their pitch to their advantage which we understand, and we have been training accordingly this week to counter that.
“It will give them massive confidence to get that win. Partick Thistle threw everything at them and didn’t manage to break them down.
“We are under no illusions about how tough it’s going to be, and how important it’s going to be in any away game, but particularly Alloa, to get the first goal.”
Caley Jags are unbeaten in 20 league matches stretching back to March, but have not claimed a victory since their 3-2 triumph over Partick in September, and Robertson, who remains without injured pair George Oakley and Angus Beith, added: “We have had too many draws. We are unbeaten in nine games this season, but six of those have been draws and we would rather it was the other way around.
“You’ve got to earn the right to win games, and try to take the chances when they come along.
“Some of those draws – Ayr United, Alloa, Morton, and to a lesser degree Ross County and Dundee United – could have easily been wins with just a little bit of luck.
“We’ve got the first quarter done and dusted. We now reassess and look to the second quarter.
“We start that in Alloa, and we want to start the second quarter like we did the first with a victory.”