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Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds ready for round two after heated moments in play-off opener

Caley Jags head coach Billy Dodds.
Caley Jags head coach Billy Dodds.

Billy Dodds played down his touchline chat with Arbroath manager Dick Campbell amid the Premiership play-off goalless draw.

The Inverness head coach and his opposite number had a frank exchange after Reece McAlear and Thomas O’Brien challenged and the latter came off worse from the incident.

With the second leg of the semi-final at Gayfield this Friday, Dodds took the sting out of the moment, although he was unhappy with some of the reaction from Arbroath’s players.

He said: “Dick was offering me his specs, but I said he’d apologise when he sees it.

Arbroath’s Chris Hamilton (right) and ICTs’ Billy McKay.

“It is the oldest one in the book where you go in to make a tackle and you realise ‘it could have been a bit dangerous there and I’ll kid on I’m hurt’.

“I am not making much of it because we’re all big men and we’ve all been in tackles. They got the decision right.

“Once I had explained to Dick, he realised. It was only a tackle and it got sorted, we got the free-kick but it led to a couple of their players trying to get our players sent off.

“That’s what I didn’t like. I don’t mind the tackle. What I minded were the afters, trying to get Reece (McAlear) sent off. It was a physical game, but I don’t mind that.”

Dodds felt his side had the best of the opportunities in a game with plenty at stake.

He added: “We had the better chances. Logan Chalmers hit the bar in the first half.

“There was a great save from Derek Gaston from Austin Samuels.  There was then a great block from Logan Chalmers when he was played through.

“Logan also had a curler just wide and Aaron Doran had a chance. We had really good chances to win the game. We missed them but we go again.”

Arbroath manager Dick Campbell, right, watched the first half from the stand.

Arbroath boss Campbell, meanwhile, is confident his part-timers, who were the Championship runners-up, will be ready for the show on Friday.

He said: “It was close to the proverbial game of two halves.

“We were definitely stronger in the first half, but they had great chances in the second half.

“It will be an interesting second leg and I’ve got a real problem on Friday. Do I get the bugle out, the Bobby Linns of this world who can win games for you? We’ll see.”

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