Dick Campbell backs Billy Dodds to be a successful head coach at Caley Thistle – but he’ll be out to dish out a day one defeat to him on Saturday.
The Arbroath manager is determined to ensure his part-timers deliver an historic third straight year of survival in the Championship and seeing off the Inverness side would be the perfect start for him at Gayfield this weekend.
Campbell, who has bossed in Scottish football since 1987 with Cowdenbeath, was delighted to see Dodds handed the Caley Thistle job this summer, replacing John Robertson, who is now ICT’s sporting director.
He said: “I had Billy as a player at Partick Thistle and I wish him all the best.
“Billy knows the craic and that my teams will be well organised, fit and competitive.
“He had to take that job at some time. He’s had a lifetime of being an assistant, so this was the time for him. He wants a kick of the ball and why not?
“He’s got great experience behind him and he had a fabulous playing career. He’s a friend of mine, but this season I am, of course, more interested in Arbroath.”
And that interest in the Red Lichties extends to continuing to shock sides in 2021-22.
Last season, the Caley Jags took seven from nine possible in their clashes with their Angus opponents, but two terms ago Arbroath twice defeated the Highlanders.
Added to that, Arbroath only lost three of their 14 home league fixtures last term, the fifth best in the division. On the flip side, only champions Hearts and Raith Rovers out-performed Inverness on their travels.
Chasing history at Gayfield
Hugely popular figure Campbell is out to bloody more noses in this campaign, having taken the club out of the Premier Sports Cup groups and into a knockout tie against holders St Johnstone on August 14.
He stressed: “No club has ever stayed up three years in the trot (in the Championship) and that’s our goal.
“In terms of the fixture list for the Championship, with Kilmarnock, Hamilton, Dunfermline, Inverness, Raith Rovers, they are all full-time clubs.
“Every one of them will be looking forward to playing Arbroath because we’re part-time, but I am sure we will have a few surprises for them.”
Arbroath vs @ICTFC – Tickets now on sale
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