Next Game

Motherwell v Kilmarnock

Friday, 08 May 2015, 19:45

Scots Prem

Last Game

Motherwell 1 - 1 Ross Co

Saturday, 02 May 2015, 15:00

Scots Prem

Sweet Caley high

When Terry Butcher changed the make-up of his team at the end of last season, we all wondered if Inverness Caley Thistle would struggle for the flair and goals required to be successful in the SPL.

Last Updated: 01/04/13 at 12:44 Post Comment

Inverness: surprise stars of SPL

Inverness: surprise stars of SPL

How wrong we were.

On Friday night, Butcher's new-look side entertain Steve Lomas' St Johnstone at the Tulloch Stadium in front of the Sky cameras having already amassed an impressive 50 points this season.

Tucked in behind Motherwell, Caley Thistle have every chance of catching Stuart McCall's men and finishing runners-up to Celtic.

I have to say their consistency has taken me completely by surprise.

After opening the new campaign with three draws, I watched them lose 4-2 at home to Celtic and when they shipped another four goals in their next league match at Motherwell, the likelihood was another scrap to avoid relegation.

Kenny Gillet, Johnny Hayes, Ross Tokely and Gregory Tade had all been regular first-choice picks but Butcher chose to change things around by bringing in players who needed a fresh challenge.

Gary Warren and Daniel Devine are just two of Butcher's new recruits and their influence has meant that they're a much stronger defensive unit.

Warren was plying his trade at Newport County before Butcher offered him the chance to shine in the SPL and he's become one of their leaders.

20-year-old Devine initially joined up til the end of the season in January but the former Preston, Fleetwood and Wrexham player has recently penned a new two-year deal.

The truth is that by changing the make up of his squad and having success with a new group of players, Butcher has now reached the stage when he can trust his men to challenge Motherwell all the way to the end of the season.

Andrew Shinnie and top scorer Billy Mackay have also been rewarded with international recognition from Scotland and Northern Ireland, a sign to all the players in the dressing room that if performances are consistently high in the SPL, you can get your rewards.

Consistent

My own view is that Richie Foran has been the most consistent of the lot. Whether as a frontman or as someone playing much deeper, Foran has all the experience to make the rest of them tick.

Qualifying for European football would be a magnificent achievement for everyone in Inverness and naturally, Butcher's success hasn't gone unnoticed.

The Caley boss turned down the offer of a return to management in England when Barnsley came calling in January following the sacking of Keith Hill.

Lengthy discussions took place when the board gave the Yorkshire club permission to speak to the former England captain.

Doncaster Rovers were also keen to lure him back south but Butcher's lifestyle and the happiness he gets from living and working in the Highlands meant he stayed on in the hope of ending a memorable season with their highest place ever.

It won't be easy against St Johnstone though. A win for Steve Lomas and his men will mean they too will fancy their chances of finishing the season on a high.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

s it the same people that complain about Chelsea that complain about Mayweather? You should by now know what to expect from both, if you can't appreciate how good they are at nullifying their opponents then don't watch them.

Noz2k
Chelsea: This Ending Always Justifies The Means

I

do concede though, that getting rid of Luiz has made them less entertaining. In the same way that driving with both eyes open is less exciting, but probably a good idea.

megabrow (cufc)
Chelsea: This Ending Always Justifies The Means

M

aybe Hull charged the Liverpool fans more because their massive sense of entitlement takes up more room? Badum tish.

sailingmagpie
Everton team subsidise awayday

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho already targeting more success after 'hard-earned' Chelsea title

Jose Mourinho insisted Chelsea were deserved Premier League champions - and then declared himself hungry for more.

Arsene Wenger says Thierry Henry is wrong about Olivier Giroud

Arsene Wenger believes Thierry Henry is wrong to claim Arsenal cannot win the title with Olivier Giroud.

Jose Mourinho and John Terry hit out at critics

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and captain John Terry were in defiant mood after the club sealed the Premier League title.

Mail Box

Shouldn't We Give Players Time?

Do we really want to throw out the baby with the bathwater every single summer? We also have a Man United fan who wants massive investment. And more...

Liverpool: No Greater Than Aston Villa

It's fair to say that Raúl H. Garcia from the morning mailbox has got something of a kicking on Thursday afternoon. Oh and the Neviller is wrong for once...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company