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Robbie Deas putting best feet forward in flourishing role at Caley Thistle

Caley Jags defender Robbie Deas.
Caley Jags defender Robbie Deas.

Every day is a learning opportunity for Caley Thistle defender Robbie Deas as experienced team-mates help him flourish.

The former Celtic youth player, who moved to the Highlands from Alloa Athletic in August 2020, is excelling at left-back, but is equally comfortable in central defence.

Defender Robbie Deas with ICT head coach Billy Dodds.

With Kirk Broadfoot and Danny Devine the natural pairing at the heart of the defence, Deas is impressing on the left side and is keen to add attacking prowess to his game.

Adding forward moves to play

Ahead of today’s Championship trip to Ayr United, the assured 21-year-old explained being guided by more senior stars at the club proves joining ICT was the wise move.

He said: “I’m happy to play wherever I’m told to play. I am very defensive-minded compared to Cammy Harper, who is good going forward.

“I am still young and learning the game. I’m still adding these elements to my game. On Saturday at Partick Thistle, I was getting forward a bit more, to show I’m able to do that.

“Each game, I feel like I’m progressing as a left-back, but I am a defender at the end of the day. I’m lucky enough to be able to play left-back or centre half.

“I feel like I’m doing well and I want to learn from any mistakes and better myself in each position.

“I am in the best place for that, with the likes of Danny Devine and Kirk Broadfoot at the back, then the boys in front like Michael Gardyne and Aaron Doran are talking to me.

“I’m learning a lot from them. It’s brilliant playing most weeks and doing well. It’s perfect for me and it’s what I wanted to do when I signed here.”

Ayr will battle for everything – Deas

A defeat against Arbroath and last Saturday’s goalless draw at Partick Thistle leaves ICT two points off leaders Kilmarnock as they go to sixth-placed Ayr this afternoon.

Deas insists Jim Duffy’s Honest Men will fight all the way for a result which would fire them towards the top four.

He added: “While Ayr have not had a great run, these things happen. Despite Ayr not having the best of results, in this league it will still be a really hard game.

Robbie Deas.

“They will be hard to beat as they’ll fight and scratch for everything. We need to match that.

“It’s always difficult down at Ayr. The pitch has been a bit dodgy, but I hear it is much better now, which will be good for us to get the ball down and try to play.

“No game in the Championship will be easy. It will be a battle and we will have to match them and hopefully our ability will show through. It will be down to hard work and who wants it more.”

Best defence in the Championship

Caley Thistle have conceded just six goals in 12 Championship matches, which is the best in the division.

Deas insists all players can have a sense of pride in achieving those numbers.

Mark Ridgers has kept seven clean sheets for Caley Thistle in this season’s Championship, bettered only by Kilmarnock’s Zach Hemming. Overall, ICT have the best defence, conceding just six times.

He said: “Clean sheets win you matches. We made that clear at the start of the season with several 1-0 wins. As a full team we know how important it is to defend.

“You can see how much work not just the goalkeeper and defenders put in, but midfielders and attackers – defending as a team.

“We do take pride in clean sheets and it was good to get another one against Partick Thistle.

“People are seeing we are strong at the back and hard to beat. Maybe the opposition are seeing that, but we just need to focus on how we perform.”

Frustration at Firhill for ICT

The defender said the Highland side go into their Somerset Park encounter on a high because last week’s draw at Firhill had everything but a goal, with skipper Sean Welsh missing a spot-kick, and Michael Gardyne and Tom Walsh hitting the woodwork.

He added: “The only negative for us was we didn’t score. We played very well and defended really well as a team. We got forward, including myself and Wallace Duffy. We were unfortunate not to get the goal in the end.

Sean Welsh’s penalty at Partick Thistle was saved by goalkeeper Jamie Sneddon.

“We watched the game back on Tuesday and there were so many positives. It lifts you and makes you feel good.

“Although we didn’t get three points, we are performing at a high level and it’s good the fans are seeing that. It’s just not going our way, but our luck will turn.”

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