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Shaun Rooney banishes thoughts of St Johnstone switch to help Caley Thistle’s promotion push

Caley Thistle defender Shaun Rooney.
Caley Thistle defender Shaun Rooney.

Shaun Rooney has put any thoughts of his St Johnstone switch to one side to help win promotion with Caley Thistle.

Rooney will join the Premiership side in the summer when his contract with Inverness expires but is hoping to get his current club to the top tier before he departs.

Promotion for the Caley Jags will undoubtedly have to come via the play-offs, given Dundee United’s 2-1 win over them on Friday night has put them 21 points clear at the summit.

Inverness are also in the Challenge Cup final and the Scottish Cup quarter-final, with games likely to stack up as the season comes to its climax.

Rooney, who joined Caley Thistle at the start of last season from Queen of the South, said: “St Johnstone is out of the way just now. I’m concentrating on Inverness and getting the job done here, see where it takes us.

“It was a difficult decision to make. I’ve enjoyed my time here and the gaffer has been great with me. I’ve got to make the decision for my future and play at the highest level I can. Hopefully I can try get Inverness to the Premiership first.”

Inverness are one of several teams in the fight for play-off places, with Ayr United, Dundee, Arbroath, Dunfermline and even Morton in the mix.

They travel to Dunfermline on Tuesday night, before the trip to Easter Road to face Hibernian in the last eight of the Scottish Cup on Friday.

Rooney addedd: “It’s always been the aim (to focus on second) since they’ve been 15 points clear. We’ve just been concentrating on Ayr and trying to pull away from them.

“It’s been enjoyable in the cup competitions and we’ve just got to keep them going. We’ve got to try get back to Hampden but it’s one game at a time.

Shaun Rooney in action against Dundee United on Friday night.

“Last year, it was a good day (against Hearts) apart from the result. The Livingston result shows we can compete with these sides. The conditions didn’t help anyone that day but we still had to compete.”

The full-back rued another defeat to United, who have beaten the Caley Jags in all three league meetings this season.

Rooney added: “That’s why they’re so far clear – they take their chances. It was probably the closest we’ve ran them this season.

“Once again it wasn’t good enough to get the three points and that’s been the story against Dundee United. It’s hard to take but we’ve got to try bounce back on Tuesday and get a win against Dunfermline.”

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