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Neil McCann hopes victory over Raith Rovers will bring calm to shoulders of Caley Thistle players

Neil McCann.
Neil McCann.

Caley Thistle interim manager Neil McCann hopes a weight has been lifted from his players’ shoulders after ending a six-game winless streak against Raith Rovers.

Daniel MacKay netted the only goal of Tuesday night’s encounter at Stark’s Park with a stunning early second half strike, to secure McCann’s first victory since temporarily stepping in due to the absence of John Robertson and Scott Kellacher.

The Highlanders capitalised on their numerical advantage against a Raith side reduced to 10 men through Iain Davidson’s 11th minute dismissal.

McCann insists the challenge of breaking down a 10-man Raith side was far from an easy one, however he was delighted with his side’s return to winning ways following a hectic run of games.

McCann said: “I’m absolutely thrilled for the boys. They have given everything again.

“To give Raith Rovers credit they pushed a lot at us with 10 men. It’s the old thing, I have been there myself with 10 men where you are thinking it’s easy, but it’s not because they raise their game and try to cover that extra man with more endeavour.

“As a unit we started the game brilliantly. We played really well against Raith Rovers after the initial 15 minutes on Friday night, I thought we could and should have won.

“I asked them to go again, but I have to say they are hanging in there. The amount of games we have had as a team is incredible, and I’m so happy for them.

“I could see they were getting a wee bit panicky in terms of not having had that win since the Ayr United game. I could see they were just holding on, getting deeper and maybe choosing the wrong pass.

“They were maybe getting a wee bit clouded in terms of the judgement when they just needed to move the ball and stay calm.

“I can’t blame them for that because of the situation they have been in. But I would like to think we will improve in the forward areas of the pitch. That hopefully will place a bit of calm on their shoulders now.”

Ayr United’s 3-1 win over Dundee means Inverness now trail the promotion play-off spots by just three points, however McCann says he will need to monitor his squad ahead of Saturday’s trip to Dunfermline.

James Keatings was forced off with an ankle injury after coming on as a substitute, while McCann also revealed Sean Welsh had been an injury doubt ahead of the Kirkcaldy encounter.

McCann added: “We have got a massive game coming at the weekend, and all I’m interested in is trying to get the boys recovered. There are players playing with injury, but putting their hands to the pump.

“James got a kick on his ankle having not been on long, while Sean Welsh had been carrying an injury and was touch and go. He did the captain’s thing by stepping up and playing a part.

“We will have a day off, then come in Thursday and train on Friday to be ready for the weekend.”

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