Dick Campbell, with the wisdom of more than three decades’ managerial experience, last night laughed off talk of an incredible Arbroath promotion push.
The man with the most famous bunnet in Scottish football insists survival remains his only focus.
Luke Donnelly claimed a deserved win for the part-timers away to second top Caley Thistle to move just three points below the top four play-off zone. The hapless Highlanders managed only one serious attempt at goal after huffing and puffing unimpressively at a blustery Caledonian Stadium.
Arbroath were only denied a more handsome win by three superb Mark Ridgers saves, but Campbell insisted: “I’m not bothering my backside about looking up the table. I’m only interested in the two that will hopefully finish below us at the end of the season. Then, we can keep developing the club. We’re a part-time club with a full-time mentality. Four years ago, Arbroath had fallen off the bottom of the Sporting Post. Now we’ve got money in the bank and we’re up two leagues, so I’m not getting carried away with it.”
In a scoreless first half low on opportunities, the best saw a tremendous Miko Virtanen pass split the home defence on the left. Bobby Linn raced on to it, but keeper Mark Ridgers was sharp out to block the angled attempt with his feet.
The second half was less than two minutes old when Arbroath struck. A fine passing move had the home defence chasing shadows and ended with Linn’s low ball across for Donnelly to flick home a finish from four yards out.
Home manager John Robertson kept his men locked in the dressing room for a good 45 minutes after the match. The Caley Thistle boss said: “Pathetic was the only way to describe our players today. Only Mark Ridgers and Miles Storey reached anywhere near the standard required. From the rest, it was unacceptable. I can only apologise to the Inverness fans. I’m not so sure the players would be brave enough to do that.”