PENALTY hero Ryan Esson insists Tuesday night’s brush with a massive cup shock will not worry the Inverness players as they patiently await their first SPL win.
The Highlanders have drawn five out of their opening seven league matches and are the only team in the top flight still without a victory.
That record looked all set to get even worse as Second Division Stenhousemuir took Terry Butcher’s side to extra-time and penalties in their tension-packed Scottish Communities League Cup third-round tie on Tuesday. However, Esson was the hero when he dived full length to his left to stop Darren Smith’s effort and earn Caley Thistle a morale-boosting place in the quarter-finals.
They will try again to rack up three points when Dundee United are the visitors on Saturday but Esson is adamant there is no concern at the way they have kicked off the campaign.
He said: “I know people are banging on about our league form but we have only lost twice in nine games. We have got no concerns. We know we have conceded too many goals but we work very hard in training to eradicate that.
“We are the second top goalscorers in the SPL and we are an attacking and entertaining team. We made one defensive mistake against Stenny and we got punished and that is the way our season is going.
“We are conceding soft goals and we have had no luck, but I can assure you that there are no concerns in our dressing room.”
Esson had few saves to make against Stenhousemuir but the part-timers could still have won the tie at the end of the 90 minutes when Stewart Kean fired narrowly past at the end of a three-on-two break.
Yet Esson, who insisted the pressure was off him when the match headed into the lottery of penalties, insists he was always convinced Inverness would emerge as victors.
He added: “I never thought that a cup shock was on the cards. I was confident that we would win. The onus is always on goalkeepers in a penalty shoot-out but you are not expected to save penalties and it is a bonus if you do. If anything, the pressure is all on the players to score their kick.”