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. 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. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Billy Dodds reveals his only regret in charge of Caley Thistle

The ex-Inverness manager looks back at painful loss to Ayr United which had injury-ravaged ICT a whisker away from a third-spot finish.

Former Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Billy Dodds.
Billy Dodds' Inverness team were one win shy of finishing third in the Championship last season. Image: SNS Group

Billy Dodds insists leading Caley Thistle to third in the Championship last season would have topped anything he’s achieved in his career.

The ex-Inverness manager, who has played for Scotland, Rangers, Aberdeen and Dundee United, was reflecting on his two-and-a-half years at the club, which ended when he was sacked in September after a winless opening nine games in all competitions.

Dodds’ side reached the Premiership play-off final in 2022 where they lost 6-2 on aggregate to St Johnstone, suffering a 4-0 loss in Perth in the second leg.

Last season, an injury-ravaged squad somehow gathered momentum at the right time to turn around a tricky spell of results and make a late push for the top-four.

It all came down to a final-night showdown against Ayr United in Inverness and the Honest Men edged to a 2-1 victory to finish second behind Dundee, pushing ICT down to sixth position.

Billy Dodds in charge of the Caley Jags. Image: SNS Group

Last-day loss against Ayr was sore

And the ex-Scotland striker, who along with Jim McIntyre won the League Cup in charge of Ross County in 2016, insists victory against Ayr on May 5 in a bid to land a second successive shot at promotion would have eclipsed anything else on his CV.

He said: “It was a great two-and-a-half years at Inverness including my time as an assistant.

“I don’t regret anything, other than not getting that last-day win against Ayr. I loved my time at Caley Thistle.

“Had we reached the top four last season, that would have trumped anything I would have personally achieved in football and that includes winning the League Cup with Ross County, being 45 minutes from the Premiership, or getting to the Scottish Cup final.

“If we had beaten Ayr to finish third, it would have topped the lot given the injuries we faced last season. And I mean anything I achieved as a player.

“We faced so much adversity – and I love it. As a player, coach, assistant manager or manager experienced anything like it. My players were dropping one by one.

“We even had to play our youth team against Hamilton in the SPFL Trust Trophy (in a 2-0 defeat). The challenging times were still good experiences for me.

“At times, we had 10 or 11 injuries to first-team players. Even bigger clubs, who are set up to handle an injury crisis, can’t cope with such levels. Teams in England struggle with so many out – I had a full first-team missing.”

No shocks as Morton come calling

Dodds, who last week tipped ICT to push for promotion via the play-offs under Duncan Ferguson, is looking for a return to a managerial, or assistant, role within Scottish football.

Along with providing commentary for BBC Radio Scotland, the ex-Scotland and Aberdeen striker keeps a keen eye on results across all divisions.

This Saturday, Caley Thistle host Morton just a couple of weeks after losing 2-1 to Dougie Imrie’s team at Cappielow, followed by a defeat of the same scoreline at home to Arbroath.

At the weekend, ICT drew 1-1 away to Partick Thistle, as the table stayed the way it was with five draws across the board.

Morton manager Dougie Imrie. Image: SNS Group

Dodds explained Imrie and his former Ross County managerial colleague and friend Jim McIntyre have got their sides well-drilled for progression going into the New Year.

He added: “Morton and Arbroath play football in line with the personnel they’ve got. They don’t try to over-complicate it.

“I loved watching the way Ange Postcoglou’s Celtic played, but I would not ask players at Championship level to try to play that way, taking chances.

“Dougie Imrie and Jim McIntyre get their teams into the final third and play their football there, while taking no chances at the back.

Recently recruited Arbroath manager Jim McIntyre, who along with Billy Dodds, won the League Cup with Ross County in 2016. Image: SNS Group

“It’s no surprise that Dougie has turned Morton around after what was a hard spell for him.

“For Jim, it was a killer blow when they lost with the last kick against Raith Rovers recently, but it was no surprise to me that he came to Inverness and got a result because he’s so well organised.”