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Caley Thistle’s Danny Devine calls for killer touch in bid to stay up

Inverness remain in relegation trouble after a cruel loss to Raith as they seek a weekend win at Dunfermline.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender Danny Devine.
Caley Jags defender Danny Devine. Image: SNS

Danny Devine is urging his Caley Thistle teammates to get ruthless and defeat Dunfermline to take their Championship survival fight to the wire.

The Scottish Cup-winning Inverness defender came close to scoring with a header in Friday’s 1-0 defeat against second-top Raith Rovers, but his effort smashed off the crossbar.

The woodwork rescued Rovers several times and an outstanding display from goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski won him the man-of-the-match award.

Boss Duncan Ferguson felt it was the best performance of the season from his men, but a Lewis Vaughan goal early in the second half saw the Fifers nick the points, who are finishing runners-up to Dundee United.

Danny Devine in his ICTFC training kit
Danny Devine is determined to defeat Dunfermline Athletic this weekend. Image: SNS

Spiders’ 0-0 draw keeps ICTFC eighth

ICT came out of the weekend still in eighth spot, one point ahead of Queen’s Park, who drew 0-0 at Dunfermline Athletic, Morton climbed to the safety of fifth thanks to their 2-1 win at Arbroath.

The Caley Jags are four points behind Ayr, so it seems to be a straight fight between them and Queen’s, who travel to Arbroath this weekend.

Inverness have two games left to avoid the relegation play-offs – against Devine’s old club Dunfermline at East End Park on Saturday, then rounding off on Friday, May 3, against Morton.

A Caley Thistle victory in Fife, allied with a defeat for the Spiders at Gayfield, would ensure Ferguson’s side stay up and Queen’s will contest the play-offs.

Inverness manager Duncan Ferguson could not have asked any more from his side against Raith Rovers – other than a goal. Image: SNS

Devine – ‘We must help our forwards’

Devine hopes the Caley Jags can show the same qualities as they did against Rovers, but add finishes to score goals.

He said: “The boys were excellent on Friday night in every respect, but just couldn’t put the ball in the net.

“It is not just the forwards – the rest of us have to take responsibility and a few of us had a few chances from crosses and corners.

“We need to be helping them out as much as they are helping us out.

“It is a team effort, at the end of the day.

“Unfortunately, Raith had one chance and they took it.”

“If we can keep playing like that, but be a little bit more ruthless, then I think the wins will come.”

Enough to win three games – Devine

Such was ICT’s dominance against Rovers in front of the BBC Scotland cameras, it seemed like robbery for the Highlanders to take nothing from the contest.

Northern Irishman Devine said: “I think, on any other night, we would have won three games.

“It was obviously sickening to lose a goal in the manner we did, but I thought in overall play we were outstanding.

“But it doesn’t count for anything when you don’t get the three points. In the position we’re in, we need three points badly.”

Players in the goalmouth look on as Danny Devine's flying header comes off the bar as Inverness press for an equaliser against Raith.
Danny Devine’s flying header came off the bar as Inverness pressed for an equaliser against Raith. Image: SNS

Back-to-back victories needed again

Prior to playing Raith, ICT defeated Arbroath 2-1 and Queen’s Park 1-0 to notch two successive Championship wins for the first time this season.

Devine accepts they probably will need to replicate that against the Pars and Ton to avoid ninth, depending on what their rivals do.

He added: “We will need two wins. We should have won on Friday, but we didn’t.

“We just need to focus on ourselves and do what we can in the next two games. Hopefully we can take maximum points and maybe someone else does us a favour.”

Physios treat a knee injury to Aaron Doran, who is lying on the pitch
A knee injury for Aaron Doran against Raith Rovers saw him go off inside 20 minutes against Raith. Image: SNS

Doran injury came after bright start

Another low point on Friday was a nasty knee injury sustained by veteran ICT midfielder Aaron Doran, a close friend of Devine’s throughout the years.

Creative play-maker Doran, 32, has had a career blighted by injuries, yet had come back strong time and again.

Devine admits the 18th-minute injury amid a challenge was another cruel moment for the Dubliner, who was spraying the ball about and looking sharp.

He said: “He has no luck. He came back into the team last week and was brilliant and coming in on Friday again, he was playing well.

“I actually thought he had just got stood on, his ankle, but it was his knee.

“Hopefully it is not a bad one. He has had a tough time with injuries, but fingers crossed it isn’t too bad.”