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Billy Dodds needs funds to bolster squad for title shot, says Caley Jags legend Ross Tokely

Ross Tokely.
Ross Tokely.

Ross Tokely hopes the Caley Thistle board free up funds to give head coach Billy Dodds a helping hand in the winter transfer window.

The Inverness legend and two-times second-tier title winner has the club at heart, having played a record 589 times for ICT.

He also provides co-commentary for the club’s pay-per-view TV service and has watched the side shed successive home league points in draws against Raith Rovers and Queen of the South.

With two wide players moving on this month, Tokely would love to be speaking soon about new arrivals to provide a vital spark in even the many even games this division throws up.

He said: “Other teams are signing players and I’m sure the board are trying to help the manager get players in.

“One or two additions would really boost the squad and give the guys already there a bit of extra motivation. It’s always good to have a couple of fresh faces coming in and to give Billy more options.

“Cameron Harper has played a game or two out wide recently, which is slightly out of position for him.

Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds is looking to add one or two players this month to boost their title chances.

“They need reinforcements. Michael Gardyne and Anthony McDonald have moved on and Aaron Doran is injured at the moment.

“You need a wide man with a bit of pace, someone ideally who can play on either wing, something Tom Walsh does really well.

“The board will have to back Billy because it has been a good season. I call this the business end of the season and they need a player or two in to really push for this title over the next two or three months.”

Just six points split leaders Arbroath and fourth-placed Raith Rovers, who they beat 2-1 at the weekend.

Partick Thistle, in fifth, are two points further back, but with a game or two in hand over the four sides above them, so remain real contenders.

Championship race going to wire

Tokely isn’t expecting a front-runner to charge off into the distance, with the outcome to be undecided deep into April when the season’s final whistle blows.

He said: “At one stage on Saturday, with Inverness winning and Arbroath drawing, it looked really good because they were on course to go level at the top.

“Inverness conceded an equaliser and Arbroath scored their winner at Raith and it all changed. It’s such a tight league I do think now it will go down to the very last week or two.

“I don’t see Arbroath pulling away and all the teams will sit closely together as they are now. It has the making of a really good title finish.”

Two tricky away games for ICT

Tokely, who was a big performer for the Inverness club in the top-flight, admits the pressure is on ICT now as they hit the road over the next fortnight for games against Dunfermline then title rivals Kilmarnock.

He added: “It’s been disappointing to not pick up full points from their last two matches, especially being at home.

Dunfermline manager John Hughes.

“These are two really tricky games. I know Dunfermline are down at the bottom, but they are always a dangerous side. John Hughes is an experienced manager, then the following week Kilmarnock have got a new manager in Derek McInnes.

“The next two weeks will really test them as a team. To be fair, they’ve answered questions by winning at Kilmarnock already this season. There’s no reason why they can’t do it again.

“Draws won’t win you leagues, especially at home where they’ve won just one in eight (in all competitions).

Billy Mckay levels the match for Caley Thistle against Queen of the South.

“It was annoying because I thought Inverness played well, especially when they led 2-1. There only one team going to win it – they showed a really good response to get back in the game.

“It was two points dropped. For me, they should be beating Queen of the South at home.”

Visitors’ goals were talking points

Queens’ goals were controversial at the time on Saturday, with referee Willie Collum under-fire for giving them.

For the first, striker Lee Connelly broke free before rounding Mark Ridgers to score, latching on to a pass from Ruari Paton.

After goals from Billy Mckay and Tom Walsh put ICT in front, the Dumfries side levelled when Ally Roy tapped the ball home when he seemed offside. A new law, however, confirmed a touch of the ball by ICT defender David Carson made it a legal strike.

Tokely’s gut feeling behind the mic at the weekend was their opener was onside…but only just.

He added: “I did say at the time I felt their first goal was onside. I had quite a good view in the commentary box. I’ve watched it on replay a good few times and there is such a fine line these days. I just felt Lee Connelly had timed it just right – but it is very small margins.

Queen of the South’s Lee Connolly scores to make it 1-0.

“The linesman has the best view of it. He is in line with it and is paid a lot of money to make these big decisions.

“For the second goal, David Carson stuck out a leg and puts it in the path of the scorer (Ally Roy). I don’t like the new rules, whether you play on or not.

“I just felt Inverness were playing really well, especially at 2-1 up, and sometimes you really need to get the third goal. Having been so on top, they will be disappointed they didn’t put away some more of the chances they created.”

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