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Artificial surface can help Caley Thistle beat Alloa


By Andrew Henderson


Kevin McHattie suspects Alloa Athletic’s Astroturf pitch will suit Inverness Caledonian Thistle tomorrow afternoon.

Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness.
North of Scotland Cup. 2nd Round.
Inverness CT(3) v Forres Mechanics(1). 20.08.19.
ICT's Kevin McHattie gets away from Forres‘ Allan MacPhee.
Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. North of Scotland Cup. 2nd Round. Inverness CT(3) v Forres Mechanics(1). 20.08.19. ICT's Kevin McHattie gets away from Forres‘ Allan MacPhee.

Caley Thistle make their first trip of the season to Recreation Park after already hosting Alloa twice, once in the Challenge Cup and once in the Championship.

On those occasions, the Wasps’ evolution under Peter Grant was clear to see – instead of being a stuffy, counter-attacking side Alloa now look to get on the ball and move it around.

ICT are usually similar, and though many people are not fans of artificial pitches like Alloa’s McHattie does not mind them.

“It’s actually better,” he explained.

“If it’s wet, it’s a good surface to pass the ball on. That would be a positive for us, we train on the Astro at the rugby park on a Friday.

“I don’t mind playing on Astro, it’s actually really good to pass the ball about on, so I’m just hoping it’s a wee bit wet to make it slick.

“There’s only one bad Astro, at Queens. It’s not the greatest.

“Alloa’s Astro is actually one of the better ones, so it’s not a problem, it’s not an issue.”

Last time out against Dundee saw a change of shape for Inverness.

ICT went more defensive in a 4-1-4-1 shape, but manager John Robertson has said he will not be setting his team up the same way tomorrow.

Versatile in his own right, being able to play in defence and midfield, McHattie is confident the squad has the ability to switch between attacking and defensive mentalities.

“We’ve got a bit of both in the team,” McHattie said.

“We’ve got the wingers who are positive, big Jordan White up top who is positive, and James Keatings in the hole on the half turn is looking to get shots away.

“Then you’ve got the back four and the midfield two or three who can just kind of sit there and protect.”



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