Billy Dodds wants Caley Thistle continue to rack up away wins – but to replicate that form at home in the Championship this season.
Only champions Hearts and Raith Rovers earned more points away from home in last season’s 27-fixture campaign than ICT.
However, the Inverness side posted just three wins out of 13 at the Caledonian Stadium, lost only two and drew eight times.
Target is winning start at Gayfield
Ahead of Saturday’s league kick-off at Arbroath, new head coach Billy Dodds wants his players to show better consistency overall.
He stressed: “I’d like to be better at home as well. I know we had good wins away from home last season.
“My first two games at this club were Raith and Dunfermline away. We were third bottom of the league and they were in the top three and we won both matches 1-0.
“Of course, if we can be solid away from home and get a momentum going then results away will bring confidence, but I want to be consistent and not just rely on away form. We need the right amount of wins at home and pick up as many away from home too.
🔜 Our 2021/22 cinch Championship campaign gets underway this weekend!
Arbroath have confirmed away fans will be allowed for this game but tickets must be bought online.
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) July 27, 2021
“I’m looking at it as a whole rather than saying that we are a decent away team. Consistency will get us where we want to be.”
Caley Thistle bowed out of the Premier Sports Cup group stages after losing to Stirling Albion on penalties and crashing 3-1 at League One Cove Rangers. Sunday’s battling 1-0 defeat at Hearts was a vast improvement.
Dodds said Dick Campbell’s Arbroath will have noted those cup defeats, but said his own players are determined to get off to a winning start too.
He stressed: “Arbroath is always a challenge and Dick’s right to highlight the stats about being the best part-time team and they’re in the Championship. They are excellent and a hard nut to crack, but I am looking forward to it.
“It’s a challenge – but one we’re looking forward to. If you are not ready for the first day of the season, mentally and physically, there’s something wrong.
“Although the League Cup didn’t go the right way for us, we are in the right frame of mind for Saturday’s game. I can’t wait.
“Arbroath will be also seeing this as a great opportunity. It’s their home game and I know they were at a couple of our cup games when we were beaten, so they’d have gone away from that with raised expectations.
“They will be up for this, as we will. I’m going to look after my own team and I know we’re in a good place. Training was excellent again today. I have good players here and when they perform and we work hard, we won’t go far wrong.”
Experienced additions pump up the volume
Dodds has added experience in the shape of Billy Mckay, Michael Gardyne, Tom Walsh and Kirk Broadfoot and he feels the older heads will raise the volume and the bar at the club.
He added: “When I came to the club, I noticed it was a really quiet squad. Because of Covid, we were doing the shouting from the sidelines. You could hear us. We were driving them on.
“That was one of the ingredients that was missing. Good young boys, but they were quiet and the older ones I have brought in will help them open up a wee bit.
“Hopefully, they are the type that don’t stop talking, even if they’re not having the best game themselves. I love people like that, I was like that.”