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Richie Foran insists Inverness Caledonian Thistle will rise to big occasion

INVERNESS Caledonian Thistle captain Richie Foran is confident their big-game mentality can help them continue their stunning season against Hearts.

Inverness, who are second in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, are aiming to reach their first major final when they travel to Easter Road in the last four of the Scottish Communities League Cup tomorrow.

Terry Butcher’s men stretched their unbeaten run to ten games last weekend when they beat Aberdeen 3-0 and have only lost to Celtic and Motherwell this season.

They have also beaten Celtic at Parkhead and won 3-0 against Rangers in Glasgow in the quarter-finals, and Foran is sure they will handle the occasion and the hostile atmosphere of playing Hearts in Edinburgh.

The Irishman said: “We are full of confidence. We scored a few more goals last weekend so that has given us an extra boost.

“We have got big-game players as well, we have shown going to Parkhead and Ibrox that we like the big occasion.

“We have got a lot of players out there playing the best football of their life, the likes of Billy McKay and Andrew Shinnie, so it’s a great time to go to a semi-final.

“We don’t fear anyone at the moment, the way we are playing. We are just enjoying ourselves.

“That’s what football is all about, you forget that at times. We are really enjoying ourselves and it shows in our play sometimes.

“Owain Tudur Jones has played international games, David Raven has played for Liverpool, so they have played at big stadiums.

“They will be used to it out there and we can’t wait to get it on.”

Foran has also played in similar matches – he helped Motherwell beat Hearts at the same venue and same stage of the tournament in 2005 – but there are some players who will be facing the biggest game of their careers so far, such as Josh Meekings and Graeme Shinnie.

But Foran’s advice to them is simple.

“Just go out and play the game and don’t play the occasion,” the 32-year-old said.

“Yes, it’s a big occasion and every person you meet this week, when they see you out shopping will tell you that.

“But just look forward to it and play it like any other league game and do what we have been doing, and enjoy the occasion.”

 

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