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Daniel MacKay insists Caley Thistle’s Championship playoff hopes are still alive

Daniel MacKay celebrates scoring against Raith Rovers.
Daniel MacKay

Dan MacKay insists Caley Thistle can still wrest a place in the Premiership play-offs after Tuesday night’s controversy-strewn draw with Dundee.

The Highland club is planning to appeal both red cards after Scott Allardice and Brad Mckay were sent packing for challenges manager Neil McCann is convinced were hard, but fair.

In an extraordinary finish, the nine-man hosts took the lead when MacKay raced through to beat the Dens keeper.

Victory would have kept the fight for a play-off spot firmly in Inverness hands, but Lee Ashcroft’s headed equaliser soon after means they will need favours.

Hearts away and Ayr United in Inverness await in the final two matches.

MacKay was proud that his team had, again, shown incredible depths of spirit and resolve against the odds.

The 19-year-old attacker said: “It just goes to show the depth of character there is among the boys.

“In the past month or so, we’ve been digging it out with games non-stop and the boys running on empty.

“Players are playing through injuries and niggles and, against Dundee, we again showed our character and belief in ourselves.

“We always felt, even with nine men, if we got one chance we’d take it – and thankfully we did.

“It was just a shame that a poor decision, when there was maybe an offside when they won the corner, led to their equaliser.

“But to show the belief and character we did to go ahead with nine men and then hold out for the point shows just how far we’ve come over the past few months.

Inverness’ Scott Allardice (L) speaks to the assistant referee after being sent off for a challenge on Charlie Adam.
Inverness’ Brad McKay (R) is also sent off during the Scottish Championship match with Dundee.

“It  wasn’t the result we wanted, but there are great positives to take.

“It was just unfortunate we lost one from a set-piece, but throughout the game Dundee didn’t create much.

“We were the better side throughout the game and that’s a positive heading into two matches that can still take us into the play-offs.”

Describing his goal, modestly, as the product of a poor touch and “schlaffed” left foot finish, the Scotland youth international stressed: “It was good to get the goal, but I’m just gutted we didn’t get the three points.”

Inverness’ Daniel MacKay (L) makes it 1-0 against Dundee.

“Looking at the table, we’re one point behind Dunfermline, but I think we have a better goal difference than them.

“It is going to come right down to when we play Ayr here on the Friday.

“All we can do is our job, go down to Hearts and put in another performance like we gave against Dundee and I’m sure we’ll come away with the result.”

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