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Billy Dodds backs Caley Thistle to end winless streak if they hit top gear against Ayr United

Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds.
Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds.

Billy Dodds is confident Caley Thistle have what it takes to record their first win of 2022 if they perform to their capabilities against Ayr United.

Inverness go into today’s fixture at Caledonian Stadium without a victory from their last eight Championship games.

It is a run which stretches back to their emphatic 6-1 triumph at Morton on December 11.

Today’s visit of the Honest Men will be the sides’ third meeting of the campaign, with a different manager in the Ayr dugout on each occasion.

David Hopkin was in charge for Caley Jags’ 1-0 home win in August, while the two sides shared a 2-2 draw at Somerset Park under Jim Duffy in November.

With Lee Bullen having since taken charge, and fresh from an Ayrshire derby victory at Kilmarnock last week, Dodds has urged his side to find their best.

Dodds said: “If we’re at the top of our game and play as we can, we should be beating Ayr United. But that’s not always been the case.

“It’s again a difficult fixture. Our form has not been great and Ayr beat Kilmarnock, their biggest rivals.

“They’re going to be coming here with confidence. Every fixture in this league is vital and this is no different.

“I’ve looked at a lot of their footage and know what they’ll bring. It’s a different manager with his own ideas.

Ayr United boss Lee Bullen.

“They certainly get men forward as they showed with the winner against Kilmarnock.

“They commit people forward and their confidence is high.”

Return of Doran a boost for Highlanders

Dodds is boosted by the return of Aaron Doran to his squad, with the Irishman having not featured since the 0-0 draw at Arbroath on January 2.

Aaron Doran in action for Caley Thistle.

Doran has added competition for his place, with Dodds having brought in Sam Pearson, Logan Chalmers, Austin Samuels and Joe Hardy during the January window.

Dodds says the quartet have been brought in to make a quick impact, which he hopes can bring about a return to winning ways.

He added: “I want them to hit the ground running. I want it to happen now.

“We’re not in a situation where we can have time to spare and wait for them to show what they’re capable of.

“We have to get them going now. We have to be winning games to be in contention for winning the title.

“I believe we are, but we need results. We’re not going to kid ourselves and believe we can get away with another draw here or there.

“It was nice to have 10 days off after Thistle, which did feel like a win, but the bare facts are we still need to be winning games.”

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