AARON Doran crafted two goals in an electrifying individual performance at the Global Energy Stadium while Billy Mckay, quite brilliantly, tucked away another.
Young Graeme Shinnie was also immense amid a pretty much faultless all-round Caley Thistle team display. But there was only one name on the lips of Inverness players and management late on Tuesday night: that of Richie Foran. The fit-again club captain was the glue that held it all together as a starkly dominant Caley Thistle secured a thumping 3-0 victory in Ross County’s back-yard.
The Dubliner, constantly imploring, cajoling and inspiring his team to better, also gave something of a master class in centre forward link play as he returned to the frontline.
A dip in Caley Thistle’s form featuring just one win in ten matches followed Foran’s shoulder injury just before Christmas. According to Doran and manager John Hughes, it is no coincidence that a resurgence in performances – with three straight victories now – has greeted his return.
Caley Thistle are through to the final of one cup competition, burning brightly in another and once again, it seems, pressuring the leading pack for European places.
Doran, who like his skipper was reared in the Irish capital, described just how important the 33-year-old Foran will be on those three domestic fronts.
“Richie was just amazing against Ross County, in that first half especially,” the former Blackburn Rovers winger said.
“On and off the pitch, he’s a born leader. You think you’re playing well? He’ll soon tell you that you’re not playing as well as you think. Even at 3-0 up, home and dry, he was pushing me saying he wanted more out of me. Richie is the focal point of the team and constantly gets us going.”