Billy Dodds admits sharing the winning feeling with Caley Thistle fans was special as the head coach thanked them for raising the roof at Arbroath.
Shane Sutherland’s second half strike gave Inverness CT a winning start to the new Championship season and a decent following of fans enjoying their first away outing of the year post-lockdown were heard right throughout the afternoon, roaring on the visitors.
Dodds said: “The fans made some noise. I heard them singing right from the start. It’s a huge part of football. All the managers love having the fans back – it’s a blessing.
Class from the boys 🔥 😀 https://t.co/P7F7JCChyV
— Reece McAlear (@Mcalear42) July 31, 2021
“It’s a long way from Inverness and I appreciate that people have spent their hard-earned money to come to Arbroath.
“Even if there was 150, they made some noise and that helped my team to get over the line. We respect the fans as we got those three points. They’re delighted, I’m delighted – we’re all in this together.”
ICT stood up to pressure from hosts
Dodds was delighted that his players stood up the to the challenge from the hosts, who either side of Sutherland’s goal threw everything at ICT.
He added: “That’s the sign of a good team. If you’ve been put under the cosh, but looked good going forward and then you dig in when required, that’s a good thing.
“We were good in the first half, but we had to hang on in the second when Arbroath put on all their big lads. They really asked questions of us, but we stood strong.
“They got in and tighter to us in the second half and they started to get control of the game. We had to dig in until we got the goal and then dig in even more and we did.
“We had to show both sides of the game at Arbroath. I felt we were really good in the first half and they were good in the second. We stuck at it and it’s a great three points for us.
“I can see why Arbroath have one of the best home records – they are a team to be reckoned with. A lot of teams will find it hard here.”
Midfielders at the heart of action
As well as being thrilled by Sutherland’s ice-cool finsh, Dodds felt two of his middle men also had a telling contribution.
He said: “I thought Scott Allardice and Reece McAlear controlled the first half, they got to a lot of second balls.
“I told the boys that Arbroath would battle and make it a contest. We had to be like that and we’ve got quality.”