Inverness move up to second with big win, but Terry Butcher unhappy with ‘sloppy’ play

Inverness CT manager Terry Butcher. Picture: SNS
Inverness CT manager Terry Butcher. Picture: SNS
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INVERNESS manager Terry Butcher admitted he was not completely satisfied with his side despite their 4-1 victory over Dundee.

Inverness CT 4 - 1 Dundee

Scorers: ICT - McKay pen 12, 48, Tudur Jones 48, A Shinnie 69; Dundee - Riley 19

Referee: K Clancy

Attendance: 3,003

They jumped above Motherwell into second place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League after a double by Billy McKay and goals by Owain Tudur Jones and Andrew Shinnie maintained their impressive form. Inverness have now struck 53 goals in all three competitions, which they retain an interest in, and equalled their 42-goal total from their last SPL campaign at the halfway point of this season.

Butcher often cut a frustrated figure as moves broke down, but he was relieved to overcome Dundee, who matched their hosts until Iain Davidson’s short backpass three minutes after the interval allowed McKay to beat Rab Douglas at the second attempt and put the Highlanders 3-1 up.

SPL top scorer McKay, who has 18 goals this season, had opened the scoring against the run of play with an 11th-minute penalty after Declan Gallagher had barged Richie Foran but Nicky Riley levelled with a good touch and finish in the 19th minute.

Parity only lasted five minutes until Tudur Jones scored from 25 yards and Inverness were in control after McKay’s second with Shinnie’s solo goal the result of a steady stream of chances if not the tide of pressure Butcher wanted.

“Dundee made it very hard for us. I think they are a good side. I can’t believe they are at the bottom of the league,” he said. “They caused us a lot of problems, good movement up front, the two wide men did well, backed up by the midfield players. I was really worried about today’s game because it’s one we were probably expected to win, which is very unusual for us.

“We were third and they are bottom but it doesn’t matter where we are because we are still playing an SPL team and they have got quality, and they showed that at times. We had to get the goals and the goals came at the right time for us.

“It was a good second goal but still never really comfortable. I asked the players: ‘Did you enjoy that?’ and they said ‘no, not really’. We didn’t play with a fluency that we can do.

“But we have won 4-1 and you think I’m mad because I demand more and I demand better. But it was a good one for us to win because I was concerned about how we would approach the game and go about our work.

“There was just a little bit of sloppiness and I thought we could be better in terms of our passing. But I can’t complain because we have won 4-1, scored again for a 24th game and are second in the league.”

Dundee remain six points adrift and have difficult games against Celtic, Aberdeen and St Johnstone to come before the winter break. Manager Barry Smith said: “The three games are obviously important for us. By the same token we still have a lot of games after that, but we want to be picking up points in those three games.”