Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds isn’t expecting too much change when his team take on managerless Morton in their Scottish Cup replay tonight.
Gus MacPherson was sacked after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Ayr United, which came a day after ICT hit top spot with a 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock.
Tonight’s third-round replay at Cappielow comes on the back of the recent 1-1 draw between the Caley Jags and Ton in Inverness, which was a rare high point for the struggling Greenock side.
They played well and deserve their second shot at Inverness, but overall form shows just one win in 15 matches in all competitions.
Dodds was disappointed to see MacPherson lose his job, having suffered the same fate when, as Jim McIntyre’s assistant, he was dismissed from Ross County in 2017.
Sympathy for MacPherson after sack
He said: “Gus was doing away fine. I know they are down at the bottom end of the league, but that’s expected in football.
“I’ve known Gus all through my playing career, he’s slightly older than me and it’s a shame to see anybody losing their job.
“We all know it’s going to happen at some point. It happened to me and it’s happened to Gus.
“I hope they don’t get a bounce. They might, but they drew against Ayr United on Saturday, so I was sad to see him go.
“I like managers and people in the game where what you see is what you get. Gus is certainly one of them.
“I’m sad to see him go, and I hope they don’t get the bounce because that would give us a better opportunity.”
Morton will be expansive in replay
Morton have played two strikers up front on both visits to Inverness this season and Dodds reckons his side might face the same again in the replay.
The Cappielow club have confirmed MacPheron’s assistant manager, Andy Millen, and reserve team coach John Sutton will support head of youth academy Derek Anderson as the club look for a new boss.
Dodds added: “They might tweak it a wee bit, we’ll have to wait and see, and they might have a go at us because it’s the Scottish Cup.
“The twice they’ve played up here, they’ve gone 4–4–2 and 3–5–2, so we’ll see how they go.
“I don’t think they’ll be sitting off us, that’s for sure. It will be a tough cup tie, and I think it will be end-to-end because that’s the way we’re going to go at it.
“I’m not saying there will be loads of goals, but it will be end-to-end stuff because we’re going to try to be expansive.”
Dodds wants players to land ‘Well tie
A trip to Motherwell awaits the winners next month and Dodds hopes his team realise their potential to earn the right to take on a top-flight opponent.
He said: “I’ve said to the players that I want them to realise how good they are.
“I think they sometimes doubt themselves, but we’ve got the basis of a good team that can go places.
“It’s all about them believing in themselves, and I think players want to challenge themselves against Premiership opposition to see where they are.
“We did it last season against Ross County and St Mirren, and we gave them good games, so I feel like we can do the same if we get the opportunity.
“We can push Motherwell hard, but Morton have home advantage, so they will be hard to beat.
“They’re a hard-working team, so I don’t want to take this game too lightly because we’re going to have to be right at it to get through because Morton have made themselves slight favourites by getting it back to their place.”
Dodds adds fit-again striker Manny Duku to his pool for the game tonight.