Caley Thistle manager John Robertson says the club’s swift decision to sack defender Riccardo Calder after being found guilty of attacking a woman allows the Highlanders to draw a line under the matter.
Inverness yesterday terminated the registration of Englishman Calder with immediate effect following a guilty verdict at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Calder, 22, kicked and punched the 24-year-old woman, who he knew, and also swung a shoe at her leaving her with “significant” injuries in the Kings Heath suburb of Birmingham on May 7 this year.
Although Robertson declined to comment directly on Calder, with the club citing ongoing legal process in England, the Caley Jags boss says he is determined not to let the matter affect his squad’s preparations for tomorrow’s Championship trip to Partick Thistle.
Robertson said: “It can be viewed upon in various ways. We were aware that this situation was coming to a conclusion, but what we were concentrating on is what we have to concentrate on – that’s the football.
“I cannot control matters outwith the football club. Part and parcel of being a manager is you have to deal with various situations that happen outwith the club.
“There are some you can help and advise on, but you certainly can’t control it.
“My job this week is to get the players concentrating on football and football alone. That’s what we’ve been doing.
“It isn’t a situation we wanted to be dealing with, but we’ve dealt with it.
“In terms of the football aspect, we’ve been on the training pitch trying to work with the players and keep them fully concentrated on what it a very important match for us against Partick Thistle.”
The former Aston Villa player had dropped the woman off at her car in the early hours of the morning, before she started following him along the road and collided with the back of his motor.
They both drove further along the road to a pub car park, where Calder began punching the victim several times through the open window. When she got out of her car, he continued the attack by kicking her and swinging a shoe at the victim, with the “sustained” attack recorded on a nearby CCTV camera.
Calder will be sentenced on December 4.
With the transfer window closed until January, and fellow left back Carl Tremarco currently sidelined with a thigh injury, Robertson could look to the free agent market for a replacement for Calder, who made 46 appearances for Inverness after joining in summer 2017.
Robertson added: “There’s no doubt, it leaves us stretched. In the past, through the loan rules this would have been deemed an emergency situation, but it is window-to-window.
“We may now look at seeing if there any free agents or out of contract players.”
Caley Thistle released a statement confirming the dismissal of Calder, which said: “Following a trial at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court this week and the subsequent guilty verdict, Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club can confirm that it has terminated the registration of Riccardo Calder with immediate effect.
“Due to the ongoing legal process in England, the club will not be making any further comment on the matter.”