Billy Dodds admits it would be crazy for Caley Thistle to think ahead to next week’s massive matches when they face Morton in the Scottish Cup first.
Inverness host Raith Rovers in the SPFL Trust Trophy on Tuesday then Championship pacesetters Kilmarnock at the Caledonian Stadium next Friday but their first priority is aiming to reach the fourth round of the cup this Saturday.
Third Round week is here 🙌#ScottishCup
— Scottish Cup (@ScottishCup) November 22, 2021
Head coach Dodds wants to see the club, winners of the competition in 2015 under John Hughes, to go as far as they can in the tournament and that’s why he and his players must not look beyond Morton.
Gus MacPherson’s team, who lost 2-0 in Inverness in October, are now second bottom in the Championship, but they only lost 2-1 at high-flying Raith last weekend, with a red card for defender Alan Lithgow hampering their chances.
Morton match gains sole focus
Dodds, lifted by the 2-1 league win at Queen of the South last week, is relishing the chance to see off tricky opponents.
He said: “It would be crazy for us to even look at Raith or Kilmarnock coming up on Friday.
“We have to get this Saturday sorted to try and progress in the cup, because if we win that game, we will go into those two with a spot-on mentality.
“Our confidence will be top notch. We want to make sure that we’re going into the Raith cup tie on the back of a cup win here, because we’ll go into that game flying.”
Any drop in levels lets Morton in
Morton have only posted one victory in their last 12 matches, but they did win in Inverness in March and have beaten Dunfermline this month, something ICT failed to do, albeit John Hughes had come in at the Pars by then.
Dodds is demanding a switched-on display from his team, otherwise they risk falling to a shock exit.
He added: “We are happy we’re at home, but we know it’s a tough draw.
“Morton are capable – they had a good wee run going there before losing their last two, but we saw a couple of weeks ago they beat Dunfermline 3-1, so we have to be wary.
“If we’re not at it, we could exit the competition and that’s not what I want.
🎟️ Reminder that Under 12s are FREE this weekend, with an accompanying Adult, for our Scottish Cup tie against Morton!
Under 12s Tickets aren't available online but are available in-store and over the phone on 01463 22880
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) November 24, 2021
“I want a cup run, I want to go as far as we can in this competition, so we’re going to have to be focused – the same as we were at Palmerston on Friday night.
“If we are, we are more than capable as I always say.”
Skipper Welsh back to boost ICT
Dodds is delighted to have captain Sean Welsh fit and available after injury took him out of the equation for the defeat to Dunfermline and win over Queen of the South.
He said: “Sean’s a top player. We saw at Ayr United – where we drew 2-2 – that he was a big player for us getting on the end of a cross to head in the opener for us.
“He missed the start of the season when he was injured, and we went on a good run, so it was only fair to the other players to keep playing them.
“There are three games in this next week though, so there will be changes at some point.
“I’m not saying I’m going to totally rotate the squad, but you might get injuries, one or two players might be tired, so of course there will be changes.
“We’re not going to say to Sean that he’s playing all three games, because he’s been off for a couple of weeks, and we just had a good result.
“He’s going to be in the squad, and with the games coming up he’s going to play a huge part.”