Inverness Preview

Last updated : 13 April 2006 By Firparkcorner

Quite simply it would be nice to beat ICT at home…they have won the last three at Fir Park, all based around a solid defensive strategy which we showed little sign of breaking down. It would be nice finally to get one over on them. But more importantly, a win will really put us in poll position for finishing seventh. It may not sound much – okay, it's not – but it's a guaranteed £50k more in the kitty for next season and that cannot be sniffed at.

ICT have had our number in Motherwell
However, the real value in this game is to be had in giving some fringe players a run out in a semi-competitive environment. While Scott McDonald probably deserves to keep his place to give him a chance of making the Australia World Cup squad, everyone else should be prepared to be dropped or shuffled round into new positions as we experiment. It will be good to see if Leitch can still cut it at all and at the other end of the scale we must give youngsters the chance to sample first team action. Darren Lee Smith and Adam Coakly are the two that spring most readily to mind. It should also be used as a chance to give Abel Thermeus a run to see if he has any potential while David Clarkson could do with a run out to try and get a confidence-boosting goal. Perhaps Richie F might finally get a run up front as well to show what he can do.

Now it is clearly impossible to implement all of these experiments in the one game but the principle is clear; play about with new personnel and positions while enforcing the point that this is still a game worth winning – holiday time is not for a few weeks.

Inverness seemed to be in poll position for the top six for weeks and weeks and they will no doubt be disappointed to find themselves in the lower half again. They lost at Livingston last week – a remarkable achievement – so perhaps they are already on the beach, mentally if not physically.

A win would also be nice for one more reason – building up a head of steam for August. Kilmarnock were widely tipped to struggle this year but there is a strong case to be argued that beating up on poor teams at the tail of last season gave their confidence such a boost they got off to a flier this time.

Surely we are due a Fir Park win over ICT? They'll make it close but we'll edge it 2-1.