Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Danny Law: Momentum is with Caley Thistle as they head into showdown with St Johnstone

Caley Thistle are facing St Johnstone again tonight in a final effort to get back to the top flight.
Caley Thistle are facing St Johnstone again tonight in a final effort to get back to the top flight.

Tonight’s Scottish Premiership play-off final against St Johnstone is Caley Thistle’s biggest game since their Scottish Cup final success at Hampden in 2015.

The dream of returning to the top flight could easily have ended on Friday night when St Johnstone raced into a two-goal lead in the opening 25 minutes.

Billy Dodds’ side were well off the pace and fortunate not to be trailing to an even greater margin by the interval.

The Caley Jags manager shuffled his pack and changed formation at the break and his team responded in style.

ICT head coach Billy Dodds.

A stunning double from Reece McAlear, including an exquisite free-kick, has left the tie delicately poised ahead of this evening’s second leg in Perth.

The momentum is with Caley Thistle, while a nervy night awaits St Johnstone and the home support at McDiarmid Park.

The Perth Saints fans who made the journey to Caledonian Stadium voiced their dissatisfaction at full-time on Friday night.

It would be incredible for last season’s Scottish Cup and League Cup double winners to follow up the greatest season in the club’s history by being relegated to the Championship.

But the chance is there for Caley Thistle to inflict that misery on the Saints and seize their return to the top flight.

Callum Davidson’s men have won only one of their previous seven games – a scrappy 1-0 win against a struggling Aberdeen. ICT, by contrast, are unbeaten in seven.

Premiership play-off format need changed.

Caley Thistle are almost running on empty after a gruelling play-off schedule at the end of a long, hard campaign.

This season is another example of why the Premiership-play-off, tipped so heavily in favour of the top flight team, needs changed.

If Caley Thistle win tonight they will become the first team to do so having played in the third against fourth place quarter-final.

To have to play six matches to win promotion at the end of the season is a ridiculous scenario and the sooner it is changed to replicate the play-off format in the other divisions the better.

One final push is required and Caley Thistle will know if they make a strong start the home crowd will make their feelings known once again, which would heap even more pressure on Davidson’s players.

The Inverness side were relegated five years ago and this is the closest they have got to getting back to the top flight.

The plight of Dunfermline Athletic – demoted from the top table 10 years ago – shows how difficult it can be to get back to the big time.

The Pars will be playing in the third tier next season after suffering relegation this term with Caley Thistle’s Scottish Cup winning boss John Hughes at the helm.

But whatever happens in Perth this evening, Caley Thistle can take a huge amount of credit from their season.

An 11-game winless sequence from December to March piled the pressure on Dodds and his players and it looked like missing out on the play-offs was a real possibility after a fine start to the campaign.

But the Caley Jags rediscovered their form on March 12 with a 3-0 home win against Arbroath and haven’t looked back.

If they are to turn their promotion mission into reality, they can’t afford another sluggish start this evening.

It will take another massive effort but this is a great opportunity for Caley Thistle to get back to the top flight and they have to grasp it.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

Conversation

[[title_reg]]

Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google

[[content_reg_complete]]

[[title_login]]

Or login with

Forgotten your password? Reset it

[[title]]