Inverness 4 - 0 Dundee United: Butcher’s men make most of free rein

WITH a happy glint in his eye rarely glimpsed post-match this season, Terry Butcher was an Englishman talking up the positives of greater devolution.This was no pro-SNP stance from Butcher, though, rather a peek inside the inner confines of the dressing room.

SCORERS

Inverness - Foran 31, 35, Shinnie 7, Roberts 73

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At half-time, 2-0 up and looking assertively in control, the home boss was faced with an unfamiliar theme for his team talk – defending a lead.

Rather than wing it, Butcher handed over the responsibility to his players – and how they responded.

A Dundee United side low in energy, ideas and confidence were blown away by a fine attacking performance with Richie Foran netting twice.

By the end, it was a first Caley Thistle clean sheet and SPL victory this season.

“I just handed over to the players and asked what they felt we should do from there,” Butcher revealed. “Richie took up the team talk.

“The lads were absolutely fantastic and that was the perfect response to our critics.”

With goalkeeper Ryan Esson injured in the warm-up, Caley Thistle were slow to find their feet.

When they did, Foran scored with a splendidly placed right-foot shot from the angle of the box after 31 minutes.

Just three minutes later, he met a cross from the excellent on-loan Arsenal teenager Philip Roberts at the back post for the second.

After the break, the dominance only intensified and United were a bedraggled bunch as Andrew Shinnie sprang through their rearguard to hit the third and Philips netted a real screamer.

“I’m just really pleased for the players because they have put a real shift into this season,” Butcher stressed. “We are a difficult team to beat – we’re unbeaten now in eight out of ten matches this season.

“And we’re on a four-match unbeaten run which is a world record for us. The style of the game and the manner by which we won it was very impressive too.

“The players have taken a lot of hassle and crap this season from people who have written them off and they can certainly play. We all knew they had this performance in them. The perfect answer is to keep winning matches and climb the table.”

United manager Peter Houston said: “If there is a self-destruct

button to hit, we certainly know how to hit it. It was an embarrassing performance. To lose 4-0 away just isn’t good enough. I apologise to the fans.”