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‘Big blow’ for Caley Thistle as injury hits Everton loanee Sean McAllister

The Toffees midfielder netted his first Inverness goal last week - but a thigh injury rules him out for Airdrie clash.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Duncan Ferguson.
Caley Jags manager Duncan Ferguson. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Caley Thistle have mixed fortunes when it comes to injury news ahead of Saturday’s Championship meeting with Airdrie.

Defensive duo Nikola Udjur and Morgan Boyes could recover from respective hamstring and knee injuries in a bid to make the squad for the fixture at the Caledonian Stadium.

However, on-loan Everton midfielder Sean McAllister, who scored his first ICT goal in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Morton, could be out for at least two weeks with a thigh injury.

Boyes, who is on loan from Premiership hasn’t played since the 3-1 Scottish Cup defeat to Hibs on February 10, while Australian defender Ujdur has been sidelined for the past two weeks.

Defenders might make the bench

Manager Duncan Ferguson admits losing McAllister, who was in last week’s SPFL team of the week, comes at a time when the Northern Irishman was beginning to hit the heights.

He said: “Morgan and Nikola could possibly be back on the bench.

“They were doing modified training on the grass on Thursday and Friday, so I hope maybe even one of them might be on the bench, although that’s not confirmed.

“Unfortunately, Sean McAllister is another injury for us. He pulled his thigh so it might be a couple of weeks for him.

“He had maybe his best game for me at the weekend and scored his first goal. It’s a big blow for us.”

Key Inverness players still sidelined

Inverness are already without full-back Lewis Nicolson (knee), midfielder Charlie Gilmour (knee) and forward Harry Lodovica (ankle) until the end of the season.

Wide midfielders Nathan Shaw (hamstring) and Luis Longstaff (knee) and central midfielder Roddy MacGregor (foot) are all sidelined, but should be back this month.

Nigerian under-21 international Sammy Lawal, who has impressed Ferguson since arriving on loan from Livingston last week, could get a chance to debut against the Diamonds.

Airdrie have risen to fifth position on the back of 2-0 victories at Dundee United and Dunfermline Athletic.

ICT are ninth in the division, but a win could take them up to sixth with just nine games to go at this point.

Just one loss in their last six Championship matches has given them belief and growing confidence.

Charlie Gilmour will miss the rest of this season with a knee injury. Image: SNS

Desperate need for a home victory

Inverness have not won a home league game since defeating Ayr United 3-1 on November 11 and Ferguson knows they must deliver a winning result for home supporters.

He said: “Airdrie are a really good team and they’ve had a couple of good results on the road, beating Dundee United and Dunfermline with two clean sheets.

“It will be a tough ask for us at home. It looks like they will push the top four for promotion. We must hang in there and hopefully keep away from the bottom.

“It has been a long, difficult road. We’re coming to the business end we need wins to try and push up the league.

“Our home form is concerning. It’s not good. Hopefully we can sort that out on Saturday.”

Duncan Ferguson – ‘Let’s go for it’

Ferguson underlined the worth of a win this weekend as ICT seek to kick out of ninth position.

He added: “We’re in a difficult position. We’ve been in this position for most of the season.

“But the league is very congested down in the bottom half and, if you can string a couple of wins together, you can put yourself into the pack. That’s what we’re looking to do on Saturday, although it will be a tough match.

“Airdrie are a good team, but we’re in a nice bit of form too and we go into it on the back of a good result at Morton. Let’s go for it.”