Billy Dodds has warned his Caley Thistle table-toppers to stop gifting cheap goals as he takes nothing for granted against Morton on Saturday.
They are three points clear of Kilmarnock, who travel to under-pressure basement side Dunfermline Athletic this weekend.
Only 3️⃣ days until we're back in home action as we face Morton this Saturday
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) October 13, 2021
Saturday’s 4-2 SPFL Trust Trophy win at Elgin City was achieved after losing two first half goals, as they did at Accies seven days previously.
Head coach Dodds likes the way his Caley Thistle team are playing, with six wins and a draw from eight fixtures leaving them amazingly just two victories shy of their total win tally last season, when they finished fifth.
However, he wants his players to ensure they don’t give themselves another mountain to climb in their quest for a positive result to cap off the first round of games.
He said: “When we take the lead we’re hard to beat, but I don’t want to keep coming from two goals down. It is very difficult no matter who you’re playing against.
“The Elgin game was a good tonic, because my boys showed a response again, which I know they have in them. I just wish they would stop making it hard for themselves.”
Side ready for a league reaction
Dodds, who could opt to hand last week’s hat-trick ace Billy Mckay a start, admits the set-back at Accies was a blow, but he’s determined to see his side get back to winning ways in the league.
He added: “We didn’t like the feeling, we were desperate to keep the run going and keep winning.
“You could see that in the performance. The boys know it, they just made a couple of slack mistakes at the back and it cost us, but I was happy with the performance and the chances we created.
“They kept going, even in the 94th minute, but couldn’t quite turn it around.”
📝 Match Preview: Tomorrow we're back in home action as we face Morton at the Caledonian Stadium
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— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) October 15, 2021
Morton mood on the rise, says Dodds
Visitors Morton have not won in the league since beating Hamilton 1-0 at New Douglas Park on August 7.
However, they did edge past Montrose on penalties in the SPFL Trust Trophy to secure a quarter-final against Queen of the South on December 1 and that followed a couple of decent draws.
Dodds reckons the Greenock group won’t have their heads down as they head north.
He said: “They got through on penalties in the SPFL Trust Trophy, so they have a wee bit of momentum with recent draws.
“They got a draw with Arbroath, flying high with a manager of the month in Dick Campbell, and Ayr United was another draw just before that.
“I know (Morton manager) Gus MacPherson and (assistant boss) Andy Millen well and I know they will have a hard-working team.
“If we’re not at it then we could be in trouble. But I keep on saying that and my players keep answering it, and take heed of my warnings.
“It is a home game against Morton and, if we play well, we’re more than capable of winning it.
“If we don’t start well and give away bad goals again, we’re capable of being in trouble.”
Tiredness kicks in… but is welcome
Dodds, who was assistant to Jim McIntyre as Ross County won the League Cup in 2016, explained he’s shattered by home time on Saturdays, but he’d have it no other way as his players compete at the top of the league.
He said: “Everyone that knows me knows I put everything I’ve got into every game, whether it was as assistant manager or manager.
“You’re just knackered. If you’re in it to do well, that’s how you should feel after games.
“It is all part of management. The players will be knackered and that’s how I should feel as well.
“I unwind by watching more football on the Sunday and I walk the dog as well.”
📅🏆 Our @SPFLTrust Trophy Quarter Final at home against Raith Rovers will take place on Tuesday 30th November, 7:45pm kick-off.
Ticket Info TBC pic.twitter.com/cCsvqU70gU
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) October 14, 2021
- ICT’s SPFL Trust Trophy quarter-final at home against joint holders Raith Rovers will take place on Tuesday, November 30, with a 7.45pm kick-off.