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Billy Dodds urges Caley Thistle to strike back to their best against Partick Thistle

Inverness CT head coach Billy Dodds.
Inverness CT head coach Billy Dodds.

Billy Dodds hopes playing Partick Thistle will once against bring the best out of Caley Thistle when they meet in the Championship on Wednesday.

The Inverness head coach is desperate to see his players deliver a big performance and result after Saturday’s 1-0 home league defeat by Morton made is seven straight games without a win.

The third-placed Highlanders have gone right off the boil and need a shot in the arm to ensure they stay in the title chase.

As it stands, they trail leaders Arbroath by six points and second-placed Kilmarnock by two.

In a match rearranged from Boxing Day, their midweek home showdown against Thistle is a huge test.

Ian McCall’s Jags are just two points and two places below ICT – with three games in hand.

Two of Caley Thistle’s best displays came against Partick, with a stirring 3-1 home victory against them in September followed by a 0-0 draw at Firhill in October where a saved Sean Welsh penalty denied them a deserved win.

ICT confidence in need of a swift lift

With all eyes on Inverness to deliver, Dodds is urging his men to hit the heights of earlier in the season when they were the division’s front-runners.

He said: “I’m looking at this league and the draws have probably dwindled our confidence a little bit.

“I know every manager will say it, but we should be up at the top, if not a few points clear.

Inverness manager Billy Dodds.

“It has affected our confidence, but we must show that we can turn that and go and get at them like we did in previous performances against Partick.

“Beating them here 3-1, we didn’t play well in the first 45 minutes, but we didn’t accept it in the way we did on Saturday.

“At Partick, I thought it was one of our best performances of the season and we need to get back to that.

“I’m sure they will, but they’ve got to get something going, something happening in a game that’s just going to flick the switch and get that edge back – and we’re back.”

Players have to be ‘better in the mind’

Dodds is calling for a stronger mindset from his players when it comes to getting through this testing spell.

He added:  “They are not giving themselves the opportunity by just accepting on Saturday (and thinking) ‘ah well, it’s a blustery day and Morton are scrapping, they’ve got the first goal – we’ll just accept that and move on.’

“No – we’ve got to be better than that in the mind. It was there at the start of the season and there’s still a few who are battling away, but there’s not enough in the team.

“We’ve got to get together. We probably had six or seven off it on Saturday, whereas at the start of the season, if there was one off, the other 10 were carrying them.

“We need to get back to that.”

‘Six-pointer’ is real opportunity

The ICT boss knows the importance of not allowing Thistle to overtake them tomorrow and wants the bite of the side to be evident once more.

He said: “We’ve a real opportunity in a six-pointer.

“That’s where we’re at. We’ve got to get them going again, but they’ve got to do their bit to get that edge, get that confidence.

“When that comes back, we’ll be a right good team.”

Striker Billy Mckay made a welcome return to the team on Saturday after a couple of weeks sidelined with injury.

Aaron Doran, Roddy MacGregor and Danny Devine are not expected to be back for the Thistle game, but could be in the running to be fit and available for another home game, against Ayr United on February 19.

 

 

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