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Boss Billy Dodds says he had to change it – as Caley Thistle responded for play-off final draw with St Johnstone

ICT head coach Billy Dodds.
ICT head coach Billy Dodds.

Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds admits he had to change the set-up after St Johnstone stormed into a 2-0 lead – but hailed their late two-goal comeback.

Inverness go into Monday’s Premiership play-off final second leg with the scores locked at 2-2 after Reece McAlear’s double cancelled out first half goals from Shaun Rooney and Melker Hallberg.

Caley Thistle players celebrate after Reece McAlear levelled the tie against St Johnstone.

And ICT boss Dodds, who took charge of the side for the 50th time, was thrilled to have seen his second half changes work a treat.

He said: “Sometimes you have to hold your hands up. We tried something different by matching up St Johnstone, going man for man.

“They moved us about, they are used to their system. I didn’t think we did the right things within it. We didn’t pass the ball well, we forced it, so I had to do something.

“Sometimes the manager has to take it on the chin. I hold my hands up as the 3-5-2 didn’t work. I changed it and put on some pace. The subs were great and a threat when they came on.

“I knew the next goal was so important when it was 2-0. If we nick it, we can spook them and that’s what we did.”

Reece MacAlear celebrates after making it 2-2.

Final tie still in the balance – Dodds

Dodds is thrilled to be going to Perth on Monday with the scores all square.

He added: “I just wanted to still be in the tie at McDiarmid. I thought we were out of the tie at half-time. I felt we didn’t believe and then we got the goal and suddenly it changed and the belief is flowing through the team.

“I thought we could match if not better them. St Johnstone were great in the first half with their movement, they were Premiership class.

“To turn it around against a Premiership team when 2-0, I have told you all season how strong my team are mentally.”

Caley Thistle, meanwhile, confirmed acceptance of a one-game ban for assistant manager Scott Kellacher following the red card shown to him by referee Willie Collum  during last week’s play-off semi-final second leg at Arbroath. He was in the stand for Friday’s match, so will be on the sidelines in Perth on Monday.

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