Billy Dodds insists Caley Thistle won’t get carried away – despite increasing their Championship advantage to five points today.
The Inverness head coach saw goals from Billy Mckay and Michael Gardyne see off a tricky Morton team 2-0 to reach the 22-point mark after the first round of games.
Their gap was boosted from three to five points after their nearest rivals in the morning, Kilmarnock, conceded late on to draw 2-2 at basement strugglers Dunfermline Athletic.
Fellow Fifers, Raith Rovers, who host ICT next Saturday, nudged Killie down to third on goal difference thanks to their 2-1 victory over Arbroath.
Dodds was delighted his men dug deep to see off the visitors from Greenock and end the first quarter on a winning note.
He said: “I knew we were capable of winning this one, but if we were not at our best it would be hard.
“I have to compliment Morton because they had big moments, one in the first half and one in the second.
“They kept at it and really had a go for Gus (MacPherson). They will win points because they are an attacking team.
“But, from our point of view, this is a league where you don’t always play well and you have to grind it out and that’s what we did today.”
‘Big three points’ thrills Dodds
Mckay was handed his first league start following his SPFL Trust Trophy hat-trick against Elgin City and Dodds praised his two scorers after an ideal day’s work.
He added: “We scored two good goals, with good finishes from Billy and Michael. Two experienced players doing it again.
Three point Saturdays ✅ pic.twitter.com/GsrtFkHM9U
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) October 16, 2021
“It’s a big three points for us after seeing the other results at full-time. But we won’t get carried away.
“Teams will be determined to beat us because we’re leading the division, but I am delighted because my players kept at it and we saw out the game.”
MacPherson slams ‘ridiculous’ goal
Morton manager Gus MacPherson was bitterly disappointed by the way in which they conceded the first goal when Mckay latched on to a clearance from keeper Mark Ridgers to score from an away attack.
He stressed his players must sharpen up for their visit to Queen of the South next week.
He said: “I thought we had the better chances in the first half.
“But we lost a goal from our corner, which is ridiculous. Even after that, still in the first half, we had chances and we didn’t take them.
“The goal early in the second half killed us and we didn’t react to that. We made it very difficult for ourselves after that.
“We are where we are in the league because we keep making silly mistakes. That’s what hurts us. It’s down to individual mistakes. We’ll probably have to make changes after some of the decision-making.
“Inverness is always a difficult place to come to, but we did give a good account of ourselves in the first half. Losing a really poor goal so early in the second half made it more difficult for us.”