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ICT's Donaldson believes Ayr will go all out for comeback

By Andrew Henderson

Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender Coll Donaldson knows from experience that Ayr United will be going all out in the play-offs this afternoon – but he is confident he will be able to stop them scoring.

The 24-year-old centre-back was involved in the play-offs in 2017 with Dundee United, where they lost in the final to Hamilton Academicals.

But in the semi finals that year, United were in a similar position to Ayr United today, staring at the end of the season unless they could come from behind to win.

Coll Donaldson is looking for a successful end to the season for Caley Thistle in the play-offs. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Coll Donaldson is looking for a successful end to the season for Caley Thistle in the play-offs. Picture: Ken Macpherson

"The manager's team talk when we were 1-0 down at Falkirk, getting battered with 45 minutes to go, he said that was the last 45 minutes of our season so just go out and give everything," Donaldson recalled.

"That was probably the best 45 minutes we had, so there is always the chance they're just going to throw everything at you, because what have they got to lose?

"The season is finished whether they're going for it or not.

"You have to guard against that, but defensively I thought we were back to what we've been really good at on Tuesday. I thought Brad Mckay was outstanding, and Jamie McCart has been consistent since he's gotten in the team. We're feeling good."

Donaldson, along with the rest of the football world, watched as Liverpool and Tottenham pulled off remarkable comebacks in the Champions League during the week.

But he thinks those results will do more to affect Inverness than Ayr, as his teammates will be desperate not to suffer the same fate as Barcelona and Ajax.

"I don't know whether Ayr will take belief from them or not, but it will definitely make our guard go up even more to realise that it's far from over," he insisted.

"Especially at this level, teams are just as likely to beat you 3-1 as you are to beat them.

"The gaffer mentioned that we've only lost by one goal all season, except in the United game where we lost by two.

"We are quite a hard team to beat.

"The game is at our place on Saturday, so we've got to be confident about going and winning the game, and not just seeing it through to just make sure of things."

Such a record will make the Caley Jags faithful confident of progressing to the next round, where Dundee United await.

But Donaldson says the prize of promotion is too great to assume anything, believing the Inverness squad are having no trouble in focusing on today's match.

"It's not that difficult, because you know what the prize is," he said.

"It was probably harder once we secured the play-offs, those last three or four league games were harder than this.

"There is a massive prize now, even just getting the opportunity to play in the last play-off games. Everyone will be raring to go."

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