Home   Sport   Article

Everton and Newcastle United legend Duncan Ferguson confident Inverness Caley Thistle players can cope with pressure of ‘cup final’ scenario in Scottish Championship play-offs

By Andrew Henderson

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

Duncan Ferguson is backing his Inverness Caledonian Thistle players to handle the pressure of the relegation play-offs when Montrose visit the Highland capital this weekend.

After a stalemate at Links Park on Tuesday evening, the Caley Jags know they must win on Saturday afternoon to keep their chances of staying in the Championship next season alive.

It will be something of an all or nothing situation at the Caledonian Stadium, which will pile the pressure on ICT’s players.

However, Ferguson has backed his side to stand up to the stakes at hand and find a way through.

Duncan Ferguson has backed his Caley Thistle players to cope with the pressure of their play-off semi final against Montrose. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Duncan Ferguson has backed his Caley Thistle players to cope with the pressure of their play-off semi final against Montrose. Picture: Ken Macpherson

“It’s critical that we stay in this division,” he stressed.

“We were unlucky in the league, only three points off fifth, but we are where we are. We’ve got to go out there and perform, and do better than we did the other night.

“Of course there’s pressure on the players, but there’s pressure on us all. We know how important this is for the club and the fans, but we have to deal with that.

“We have everything to play for. Obviously we’re desperate to stay in this division.

“Montrose played really well on Tuesday, but we managed to keep a clean sheet which is good because we could have lost that game.

“It’s a cup final now, isn’t it? We’ve got to win the game to get into the next round.

“We’ll do as much as we possibly can, and I’m sure the players will be ready.”

For the first time in a long time, Montrose were new opponents for Inverness and Ferguson earlier this week.

The Caley Jags boss acknowledged that their hosts were the better side on the night, but with neither side able to find a breakthrough the tie remains in the balance.

Ferguson will be demanding improvements from his side this weekend to ensure they make it safely through to the final, but he knows that could be easier said than done.

“There’s no room for complacency in anything – football or any other part of life,” he said.

“Montrose were excellent on Tuesday night, so we need to improve if we are going to stay in this division.

“They are well-organised with threat in behind from their strikers, experience and physicality at the back, they’ve got experience in the middle of the pitch too, so I wouldn’t say I was surprised but they are a very good team and that’s why they are fourth in their division.

“I don’t think we played well on the night or created enough chances. The game was very slow on Tuesday, and the ball wasn’t moving quickly enough for me, so we need to move it as quickly as we can.

“We need to get into their box and put them under pressure, which is what they did to us on Tuesday. We have to do it to them on Saturday.”

Ferguson expects to welcome James Carragher and Sean McAllister back into the side this weekend, after the on-loan pair spent Tuesday night on the bench amid concerns over them playing on an artificial pitch.

Danny Devine is a doubt though having rolled his ankle at Montrose, and Charlie Gilmour is back training with the first team – although it is expected that this weekend will come too soon for him to play a part.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More