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Caley Thistle aim to home in on victories as Billy Dodds tips race going all the way

Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds has his side chasing a fourth straight win.
Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds has his side chasing a fourth straight win.

Caley Thistle boss Billy Dodds is demanding his players secure the lion’s share of points from three successive home matches this month.

Second-bottom Morton come calling on Saturday before promotion rivals Partick Thistle visit on Wednesday.

Ayr United will be their opponents at the Caledonian Stadium on February 19, one week before ICT hit the road to Hamilton.

Fans urged to roar on Inverness

After the 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock nudged the Highlanders down to third in the Championship last weekend, Dodds knows the three home fixtures now present vital opportunities for his team.

He said: “We have to take a fair percentage of points through these three games and that is what I will relay to the players.

“They know themselves and with the backing of the fans, these home games are so important and if we get the fans behind us we can get the results we require.

“But we are at the stage we can’t kid on where we need points and get a mini-run because you saw after the start of the season three wins on a bounce can propel you back to the top.”

Leaders Arbroath host second-placed Kilmarnock on Friday night, with ICT trailing their rivals by three and two points respectively before a ball is kicked at Gayfield.

ICT get set for 13 cup finals – Dodds

Dodds, whose team have not won since smashing Morton 6-1 in December, reckons no side will pull clear in a chase which will have plenty more twists and turns.

He said: “We’re still in there. We’ve been disappointed with the results lately but against Kilmarnock we had long periods of the game. We were disappointed with how we lost the goal and I have shown the boys it again. That’s happened a couple of times this season.

“Overall, our Kilmarnock performance was good and we have had reasonable periods in matches. It’s not as if we’re being beaten or thumped or nor playing well. We just need to find the formula.

“I still think the title race will go all the way. Teams will drop points, even those at the top against teams at the bottom because they have things to play for.

“We have 13 cup finals and I have told the boys that this week. I asked them to give me what they’ve been giving me and ensure we score goals and have the tempo there for as long as we can have it.

“We won’t control games for 90 minutes, but I want our percentages to be up. We control games quite a lot but not enough to get wins. As soon as we get wins again, we can really take off.”

Ton unbeaten in league under Imrie

Saturday’s visitors Morton knocked ICT out of the Scottish Cup on penalties in December just four days before being beaten by the Highland side 6-1 in the league.

Since then, former Inverness midfielder Dougie Imrie has taken charge and guided Ton to two wins and two draws in the Championship.

Dodds expects nothing other than a testing 90 minutes against a team which drew 2-2 with Raith Rovers last weekend.

Morton manager Dougie Imrie.

He added: “We know what we’re going to get from Morton. They are unbeaten in the league since Dougie took over and they were unlucky not to knock Motherwell out of the Scottish Cup. He’s had five games and done well.

“We expect a real battle, as it always is – even when we won 6-1. We know what’s coming our way and we’re ready for it.”

Striker Billy Mckay poised for return

Defender Danny Devine and wide midfielder Aaron Doran are making steady progress on the way back from their injuries, but the Morton match comes too soon for the duo.

It is, however, better news for Billy Mckay, who will be in line for a return as he seeks to add to his dozen goals this term.

Dodds said: “Billy is on the training ground, looking sharp. We need goals and that is the area I have added (new signings) and Billy will always chip in. He was playing well before he got injured and I am delighted to have him back.”

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