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Caley Thistle assistant boss Scott Kellacher backs players to prove their Premiership class

Kirk Broadfoot is congratulated after helping Caley Thistle to a late leveller
Caley Thistle's assistant boss Scott Kellacher wants the players to take their winning form all the way into the Premiership via the promotion play-offs.

Scott Kellacher insists Caley Thistle belong in the Premiership – and he’s urging the players to prove it.

The Inverness assistant manager is relishing the chance to help guide the side back into the top-flight for the first time since 2017.

Partick Thistle are their likely play-off quarter-final opponents next Tuesday and Friday as they hold a three-point and eight-goal advantage over fifth-placed Raith Rovers going into their final games this week.

ICT, who beat Morton 1-0 to secure third spot, welcome mid-table Hamilton to the Caledonian Stadium on Friday before their full focus turns to those play-offs where Arbroath await the winners in the semis.

Caley Thistle belong in top-flight

Kellacher believes there are many quality players at the club and he wants the group to seize the opportunity they have earned for themselves.

He said: “Taking this club back to the Premiership would be absolutely fantastic. It would be magnificent.

“It’s where Caley Thistle should be. We are a good side and we play good football. Going up would be massive for the club and the city.

“We would also get the rivalry back with Ross County, who have had a good year.

“The whole club is striving to get there, especially the football department. That’s where we want to get to.

“We have got many players at Premiership level. There are some very good players in that dressing room.

“The players have to push themselves to try and get there. They can prove that is where they deserve to be.”

Big chance to return to Premiership

And with Ross County chasing European qualification for the first time, Kellacher feels it is time for Caley Thistle to be back at Scottish football’s top table.

He said: “What we have done in our history so far has been absolutely tremendous. The same applies to Ross County. Both clubs have achieved so much in such a short space of time.

“We will keep pushing towards trying to get back there. It is fantastic when you are in the Premiership and having the bigger sides visit.

“We will take each game as it comes and remain positive going into the play-offs.”

High-class goals praised by Kellacher

There are a range of high-class, long-range strikes being voted on by fans ahead of the awards after the Accies contest.

Kellacher says the coaches encourage the players to have a crack at goal because it’s proving to be fruitful.

He added: “I was watching all the goals of the season contenders and I really don’t know who will win it.

“We have scored some fantastic goals and it is great to see. We say to the boys when they are in that final third to pull the trigger and have a shot because you never know what will happen. Look at Logan Chalmers recently with his goals for example.

“Some boys have done just that and it has ended in the back of the net. We tell them to keep doing that and keep being positive. If you get half a chance, take it. Some of those goals have been first class.”

Accies will be tough final opponents

Inverness have taken just one point from Hamilton this term and Kellacher is keen to ensure they finally put one over their opponents in their final regular fixture of the season.

He said: “All the games against Hamilton have been tight. Last time out, we drew 1-1 against them.

Hamilton Accies manager Stuart Taylor.

“Stuart Taylor has them well organised, set up really well and they are working hard.

“They are like many other sides in this league where they are hard to beat. We will have to be at our best and be positive in what we set out to do. We will give it a right go. Let’s hope for a good result on Friday night.”

ICT line-up could be shaken up

Long-time coach Kellacher hinted at changes for the Hamilton match and stressed the need for all players to be ready for action, whether starting or not.

He said: “We have always looked to use the squad as best we can in any case.

“But we will have a chat about making changes and give some rest to some players.

Sam Pearson, who has returned to Bristol City after a loan spell with ICT, scored in the 1-1 draw at Hamilton in their last Championship meeting in February.

“We’re going to have to use the whole squad throughout the play-offs as we have done over the last five or six weeks.

“It is important everybody is fit and, if we have to make changes at any point, everybody is ready to go.

“It is an important game – we want to be positive against Hamilton.”

Training form matters on daily basis

And Kellacher is calling for strong performances in training to transfer on the pitch as players set out to be winners for the Highlanders.

He added: “We want all the boys to have fire in their bellies every day on the training ground. That is so important.

“What they do in training they take on to the pitch. We want all the players on the park, including those coming off the bench, to have fire in their bellies. Everyone must play their part because we will need it for this run of matches.”

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