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Butcher wants his Inverness players to show 'Gers no mercy

By Andrew Dixon

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Caley Thistle manager Terry Butcher
Caley Thistle manager Terry Butcher

TERRY Butcher has demanded more from his Caley Thistle players if they are to end the season in the top six of the Scottish Premier League for the first time — despite admitting he is unlikely to have his ideal first 11 at his disposal when champions Rangers travel north this Sunday.

The Inverness manager knows his men are capable of more after drawing 1-1 at bottom side Dunfermline on Saturday and wants his men to show no mercy against the Glasgow giants — despite having some sympathy for the plight his former employers who find themselves in disarray after going into administration.

Caley Thistle are within five points of Kilmarnock, who occupy sixth place, but Dundee United, Aberdeen and St Mirren are also fighting for the coveted top half finish.

“We have to pull our fingers out and get going if we want to finish in the top six, it’s always been dog-eat-dog in the SPL but we have seven matches before the split so it’s tight,” Butcher said yesterday.

“If we get on run now and finish in style we could well get there.

“It starts against Rangers and they are a good side no matter what state they are in, but we have our own agenda and that is to get three points.

“These are troubled times at Ibrox but that is their concern and we can’t be bothered about that because we have to do our professional best to win.

“I’ve been there before as manager of Motherwell and no one had sympathy for us when it came to matches. I don’t think Rangers will expect any sympathy and they certainly won’t get any from us when it comes to the game but obviously after the match, certainly.

“I won’t have my favoured 11 but we will get on with it and those players we have are certainly up to the task and our quality in depth has been able to compensate for a lot of absences this season, which has been tough.”

Caley Thistle midfielder Greg Tansey also has first hand experience of financial problems facing a football club. He was at Stockport County when they went into administration in 2009.

“It’s not nice,” he said. “We were lucky we got paid every week and we were just fortunate that the club handled it well. But it’s just a horrible situation because you are very uncertain of your future.

“It probably affects you a lot more than you think,” continued the 23-year-old. “You try and just block it out, but it’s definitely there.

“I suppose at Rangers they have plenty of big-name players who will not be used to the feeling of administration and all the uncertainty that surrounds it. It’s constantly in the press and all over the news, so I would imagine it’s bound to affect them.

“It’s something that does perhaps make you wary, but you can look at it another way in that it’s a chance for you to put yourself in the shop window.

“That’s the way I looked at it in that I tried to get that little bit extra out of myself, but every player is different and it may be the case that someone thinks they don’t want to get injured because that could be it.”

Meanwhile, Caley Thistle’s fringe players are set to travel to Forres Mechanics today for a bounce game.

Inverness’s top scorer Gregory Tade is unlikely to be involved after suffering an Achilles injury while he was asleep — a problem which ruled him out of the trip to Dunfermline.

“I’ve given him a bit of stick for it but we are optimistic he will be available for the weekend,” Butcher added. “It will be great to see him back.”

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