Richie Foran lauds talisman Billy McKay

Billy McKay has 15 goals this season. Picture: SNS
Billy McKay has 15 goals this season. Picture: SNS
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BILLY McKay is the player grabbing the headlines, but Inverness Caledonian Thistle captain Richie Foran insists that getting to second place in the league and staying there has been a team effort.

With two more goals at Tynecastle on Saturday to take his tally for this term to 15, the striker has been an integral part of the Highland side’s success. But as the squad departed for their Christmas night out in Dublin, Foran said the emphasis remains on team work.

“You can see how confident he is going into games: even if we aren’t doing well, Billy can pull something out the hat,” said the skipper. “I am sure every other team in the league would love a player like Billy in their team.

“You give him a half chance and he puts it in the back of the net. That’s why we all love him. He is a big player for us, but he knows himself it is not all about him. Marley Watkins had a couple of assists for him as well.”

The 23-year-old midfielder used his pace and his ability to deliver telling balls to good effect against Hearts and served up the openings for McKay to score the crucial goals.

“Marley is excellent,” said Foran. “His problem is he doesn’t know how good he is. He is such a genuine guy. He is getting some good coaching from the boss now and he is improving every game. Marley has the fitness, the pace, he is quick, strong, he takes people on and his delivery at the end is excellent. The top players have that final delivery and Marley has it.”

With their fifth clean sheet in a row, the defence provided a solid platform for Inverness to build from. “Josh [Meekings] and Gary [Warren] are the backbone of our team and they are very consistent,” continued Foran.

“We have got good partnerships all over the park, but they read the game so well and they have now had 11 clean sheets [this season].”

But no-one can get complacent, not with teams like Dundee United, Aberdeen and Motherwell breathing down their necks.

“We know that second place is anyone’s still. United are in great form at the moment and scoring for fun. Aberdeen are very strong and we are also doing well. It is the team which can do well over the festive period as there are a lot of points up for grabs.”