Duncan Ferguson has stressed the need for a united Caley Thistle effort in a bid to keep kicking away from the Championship’s trapdoor.
Incredibly, Saturday’s gutsy 1-0 win against Airdrie was ICT’s first home league victory since April, and it kept them above basement side Morton on goal difference.
The Ton also won 1-0 at the weekend as they edged out hosts Ayr United and they will leapfrog Inverness if they take anything against second-placed Raith Rovers on Tuesday night.
Potentially, Caley Thistle could be as much as six points adrift at the foot of the division by the time they travel to leaders Dundee United on Saturday – as Morton tackle also Dunfermline Athletic in Friday night’s BBC Scotland game in Greenock.
Boss thrilled to see fans celebrating
Caley Thistle’s vital victory over the Diamonds came courtesy of a goal by new signing, former St Johnstone midfielder David Wotherspoon, as the Highland side then dug deep to defend manfully for three crucial points.
Ferguson has guided Inverness to seven points from nine since replacing Billy Dodds last month.
However, the manager knows, despite the result, the pressure is firmly on his team to keep their run going.
He said: “It had been a long time since the team won at home, so it was a big win for us. We don’t want to be cut adrift.
“We’re still fighting for our lives. Had we lost on Saturday, we really would have been struggling.
“The players were magnificent, we got the clean sheet, and it was great to see the fans celebrating.”
Defending key to beating Diamonds
It was a victory well-earned from the home team and Ferguson said it will have to be the case to ensure improvement this season.
He said: “We have got to defend from the front. There can be no passengers in this team. We can’t carry anybody.
“Everybody has got to defend, and I think everybody is doing that and buying into it.
“That has got us four points, having two clean sheets, so if you’re not conceding many goals, you don’t have to score a lot to win.
“I am delighted with the clean sheet and with how we defended the game and how we saw the game out.
“The players put everything into the match – 100% – and that’s all you can ask for. They worked their socks off. We defended our box fantastically well.
“We got put under a lot of pressure in the last 20 minutes particularly when Airdrie were shelling the ball down the pitch, but we defended really well.
“In the first half, we were good without being fantastic. We created the best chance and missed it. We created the next chance and scored it. So, in the first half, we were the better team.
“However, in the second half, Airdrie came on to us strong, and we defended brilliantly.
“In the second half, we never really created anything of note, but our defensive shape was very good.
“I’m delighted and it was a crucial three points for us.”
Wotherspoon took his second chance
Ferguson praised his first signing for ICT, Wotherspoon, for not letting one missed opportunity prevent him from tucking away his winner.
He said: “David’s head never went down. He had a good chance to score, but he went on to get his goal, so I was delighted for him.”
🙌 @Spoony_10 scored the only goal of the game on his ICTFC debut, as we got our first home league win of the season
Enjoy your weekend folks! 🔴🔵 pic.twitter.com/BT9gkPAFZE
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) October 28, 2023
Sheridan will get fitter and stronger
Ex-Celtic, Kilmarnock and Dundee forward Cillian Sheridan, who like Wotherspoon signed a deal until January, made his ICT bow from the bench after a long time out of action.
Ferguson said: “It was nice to get Cillian on the pitch, as I did with five subs.
“Cillian will get stronger and stronger and fitter and fitter.
“It’s not easy coming on the pitch as a substitute and it’s not easy when you’ve been out for about nine months.”
🔜 Up next we face Dundee United at Tannadice Park this Saturday
🎟️ Tickets available online now
🚌 Supporters Bus Info
Come on ICTFC! 🔴🔵
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) October 30, 2023