INVERNESS captain Richie Foran believes defence could be key to victory when his side welcomes Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership today.
The Fir Park side scored 12 goals and conceded only two in the first three games between the teams last season to take nine points, although Terry Butcher’s men won 4-3 in the final meeting of the campaign.
Inverness began this season with a 3-0 home win over St Mirren, followed it up with a 1-0 victory at Dundee United and sit at the top of the table on goal difference over Aberdeen. However, former Motherwell forward Foran revealed a little trepidation as he looked ahead to the visit of the Steelmen.
He said: “It has been a very positive start, four goals and two clean sheets but we are keeping our feet on the ground. Motherwell more or less battered us three games out of four last year so they are a tough side to play against. They have lost a bit of pace and big Michael Higdon is a big loss for them although they brought in some good replacements.
“We will probably be favourites which we don’t mind so we are looking forward to getting three out of three. But you have that little worry that they can put four or five past us and Motherwell players will have it as well, that we can do the same to them. There are a lot of creative players on show. So I think it is a game where you really need your defence to be on top. The main thing is to get the defence on form.”
Stevie Hammell is also convinced a new-look Motherwell team will bounce back quickly from their home defeat by Aberdeen. Hammell, who has made 468 appearances for Motherwell, has seen plenty of changes at Fir Park over the years and he is confident they will adapt. The 31-year-old left-back said: “The changes this year have been a bit more drastic than previous years, this season pretty much six of the starting XI has changed. It might take a bit more time to click and play a different style of football but the players we have got in are high quality.
“If you’ve got good players then you are going to cause other teams problems. The style of play might be a little bit different but it can still be effective. “
Hammell, who was in the Scotland squad that faced England, added: “We put pressure on ourselves to get back to winning ways. Teams have been wanting to beat us for a few years, we’ve been up there and used to that.”
Manager Stuart McCall feels his squad are much better prepared to face Caley Thistle than they were Aberdeen following their defeat by Kuban Krasnodar. “We are two games in and we have a 50 per cent record,” he said. “If we finish the season with a 50 per cent record I’ll be happy.”