Barry Wilson insists Caley Thistle won’t be thrown off track at the top end of the Championship after a second postponement within four days.
The Inverness first-team coach was speaking after last night’s match at Dunfermline Athletic was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch after a mid-afternoon inspection at East End Park.
❌ Tonight's match has been postponed after failing a pitch inspection. pic.twitter.com/zl4p3Zn6fe
— Dunfermline Athletic (@officialdafc) December 29, 2021
That setback followed Sunday’s home match against Partick Thistle being postponed due to Covid and injuries leaving ICT with just eight available players, including two goalkeepers.
Caley Thistle were looking to return to winning ways, with their last outing being a 2-1 defeat at home to Hamilton on December 18.
Arbroath’s midweek match against Hamilton and Raith Rovers’ fixture with Queen of the South were postponed due to Covid and injuries at Accies and Queens respectively left them too low in numbers.
A waterlogged pitch also put paid to Partick’s chances of pushing into the top last night. They were set to tackle seventh-placed Ayr in Glasgow.
This offered Kilmarnock to cash in, with their fixture at home to Morton the only Championship game on. However, a 1-1 draw in Dougie Imrie’s first match in charge of Ton nudged managerless Killie into third spot, one point behind ICT.
Plenty riding on Gayfield contest
For Caley Thistle, Wilson reckons the squad will regroup and maintain their focus on returning from Arbroath on Sunday with maximum points.
It’s one win apiece between the teams this season, with Inverness winning 1-0 at Gayfield on the opening afternoon of the campaign and Dick Campbell’s part-timers scoring the same result in the north in October.
Wilson said: “We’re always quietly confident going into any game, whether we have beaten them already this season or not.
“Arbroath are on a really good run of form. They are confident and three points in front of us at the top of the league, but it gives us a chance to draw level with them. We will be doing our best to achieve that.
“They will be looking at it as a chance to try and stretch that lead over us, so the match takes on new significance after both teams had games off in midweek.
“It keeps things really tight at the top, with Raith, Kilmarnock and Partick all up there. The fans, I’m sure, are loving how close it is at the top.
“One moment, you can be top of the league, the next minute you could be fourth or fifth.
“It’s a crazy league, but we will prepare for it over Friday and Saturday and will go there on Sunday and try to bring three points home.”
Call-off confirmed with team on road
Wilson explained the squad, some of whom had only just returned to the fold yesterday, were ready for the game and on the road when the Pars’ call-off came through.
He said: “We had just left at 2pm and got word from Dunfermline there would be a pitch inspection.
“By the time we picked up a couple of the boys at Aviemore, the game was called off. We turned about and headed home.
“We were ready for the match, but we also had boys who hadn’t trained in around a week or so. That wouldn’t have been ideal, but we were ready for it nonetheless.
“We had a team to put out, although there would only have been a few subs. You just have to take it on the chin and we will get that played at a later date.”
Games being postponed in all leagues
With Covid issues affecting games across Britain right now, allied with the usual weather cancellations, Wilson admits it has been challenging.
He added: “Every league is the same. It’s very much like Russian roulette, with games on and off all over the place and at short notice. It has been tricky at times, to say the least.”
As well as Arbroath and ICT locking horns on Sunday, Partick face Morton at Firhill, while Raith Rovers are in derby action at home to Dunfermline.