Skipper Sean Welsh says Caley Thistle’s strong start laid the foundation for Friday’s stirring 1-0 Championship win over title rivals Kilmarnock.
Raith Rovers’ 0-0 draw at fellow promotion contenders Arbroath on Saturday keeps ICT one point ahead of the Kirkcaldy team, two clear of Killie and three in front of Partick Thistle and Arbroath.
👋 Morning ICTFC fans!
🚀 Sean Welsh's screamer sealed all three points against Kilmarnock last night!
Enjoy your weekend 🔴🔵 pic.twitter.com/MhImXHy2Qm
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) December 4, 2021
Man of the match Welsh is respectful of Kilmarnock, but felt his side’s storming starts to both halves set the tone for a match-winning performance.
He said: “I felt we deserved to win. We started the game really well, but we could not quite get the goal our play merited.
“They had a little spell just before half-time, and that is always going to happen in games, but it is about weathering that spell.
“We started well again in the second half and thankfully we got the goal and I’d say we deserved the three points in the end.
“We knew we had to start well because we knew they’d be trying to avenge for us beating them down there earlier this season.
“I think we put them on the back foot and if we’d got the early goal that would have been ideal, but thankfully it came in the second half.
“Kilmarnock are a really good side with good players and we knew what they were all about. They were always going to come here and try to win the game, but we have shown we’re a good side as well with this win.”
‘I chucked my leg at it’ – Welsh
The second half stunner from Welsh came out of the blue and even he was surprised to see it crash beyond Zach Hemming into the net.
He said: “I am trying to get into the box, get forward and chip in with goals. I don’t know where I pulled that one from, but I’ll take it.
“David Carson was screaming to pass it wide and my touch took me a bit wide, so I chucked my leg at it and I seen it go in the right direction and thankfully it flew in.”
Belief helped when results were poor
Before seeing off Killie in dramatic fashion, Caley Thistle had won only one of their last eight games in all competitions.
However, the Inverness captain has kept the faith that fortunes would flip in their favour.
He added: “We’ve not been far away from wins at times. Down at Partick, when we drew 0-0, we played our best 90 minutes of the season, yet didn’t win it.
“We missed a good few chances and I missed a penalty. We have to stick at it and the results will come again, like they were at the start of the season.”
Inverness kick off this week in pole position and Welsh reckons it’s going to be a multi-team battle for the title and promotion spots.
He said: “I don’t think anyone is going to run away with it, although I’d love us to do that!
“It is a hard league and we have to keep doing what we’re doing and that means winning games and let’s see where it takes us.”
Caley Jags ready for Greenock double
Tomorrow sees ICT head to Morton for their third round Scottish Cup replay before a return to Greenock on Saturday will be on league business.
Welsh sees no reason why they can’t get the results they are after from both testing games.
He added: “Having the fans get behind us like that certainly helps. It generates good atmosphere in the ground. Thanks to them for that and long may it continue.
“We’re fully confident, especially after Friday’s result. Cappielow is a hard place to go, but I am sure we’ll be ready for both games, starting with the replay on Tuesday. We want to firstly progress in the cup before we move on to Saturday.”
Morton sacked manager Gus MacPherson on Saturday after their 2-2 league draw with Ayr United left them alongside Queen of the South and Dunfermline at the foot of the Championship.