Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Defender Danny Devine enjoying high spirits as Billy Dodds keeps Caley Thistle flying

Caley Jags defender Danny Devine takes to the air against Morton.
Caley Jags defender Danny Devine takes to the air against Morton.

Danny Devine reckons the seamless summer recruitment of Billy Dodds as Caley Jags head coach has been the perfect launchpad for their Championship charge.

The defender, who returned to the fold to help ICT post a 2-0 home win against Morton on Saturday, explained the mood within the Caledonian Stadium is one of high spirits.

It’s no wonder, because Inverness are enjoying a five-point lead over weekend hosts Raith Rovers, and Kilmarnock. 

Dodds was brought in last term under interim boss Neil McCann after John Robertson stepped away from front-line management.

Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds.

The former Scotland, Aberdeen and Rangers striker, who was assistant to Jim McIntyre at Ross County when the club were 2016 League Cup winners, was then handed the top job and they’ve got off to a cracking start with 22 points from their first nine outings.

Hitting the ground running under Dodds

Devine, now in his second spell at Inverness, is enjoying his football under Dodds, especially after experienced pair Billy Mckay and Michael Gardyne netted the goals to sink Morton.

He said: “You can see by the start we’ve had, we’re enjoying it. There is a good buzz about the place.

“It helped that most of the lads knew him from working alongside the (interim) manager (Neil McCann) last season. We have picked up from where we left off and hit the ground running under him. It’s a happy place right now.

“One of the most important aspects of the team this season is the good blend between experienced boys and the young lads such as Roddy (MacGregor).

“Saturday was another example of the energy he brings to the team. He was brilliant in the way he got about the pitch against Morton.

“We also have those experienced boys who have been there and done it. They can guide the long lads. It’s all coming together.”

Devine returned to bolster back line

ICT’s latest shut-out came with Devine’s return to the team and follows keeping out Arbroath, Raith Rovers, Ayr United, Kilmarnock and Dunfermline before the weekend.

The 29-year-old Northern Irishman took great satisfaction in the way the team snuffed out the threat from the visitors from Greenock.

He added: “Saturday’s result continued our good start to the season after the hiccup at Hamilton. We made sure that’s all it was, just an off day. It was great to get three points.

“As a defender, but especially a centre-half, clean sheets are what we pride ourselves upon. To get another one was good. We actually had a good run of them at the start of the season before losing a few sloppy ones in lately.

“Keeping clean sheets gives us a much better chance of winning games and it worked out for us.”

Taking care of our own business first

Killie drawing 2-2 late on at Dunfermline was an additional lift for the Highlanders on Saturday night.

Danny Devine is determined to keep ICT on the winning track against Raith Rovers.

However, Devine said: “We are just concentrating on ourselves. Of course, when we found out after the game other teams had dropped points it was an extra boost.

“It gives us another lift as we go to Raith Rovers and look to get more points on the board. However, if we can keep taking care of business on our side then we won’t go far wrong.”

Second v first showdown in Kirkcaldy

ICTs next few games are against top-five rivals. They go to Raith (second) on Saturday before hosting fifth-placed Arbroath next Tuesday, then head to Partick Thistle, who are fourth, a week on Saturday.

Devine knows, as the pace-setters, they are there to be shot at, but their focus is only on the next test at Kirkcaldy.

He said: “Everyone wants to be at the top of the league. Every team we play sees us up there, want to have a go at us and fancy their chances.

“We say about this league every single year, no matter who is in it, it is always really competitive. It’s very tough to get out of, but we need to keep taking it a game at a time and hopefully we can keep the good run going.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in