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Going up with Inverness Caledonian Thistle would be big highlight of Billy Mckay's career as they prepare to face St Johnstone in play-off final


By Andrew Henderson


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Billy Mckay believes winning promotion with Inverness Caledonian Thistle this season would be one of the best moments of his career.

Picture - Ken Macpherson. Premiership play-off semi-final 2nd Leg. Arbroath(0) v Inverness CT(0). 13.05.22. ICT win 5-3 on penalties. ICT’s Billy McKay scores 1st penalty.
Picture - Ken Macpherson. Premiership play-off semi-final 2nd Leg. Arbroath(0) v Inverness CT(0). 13.05.22. ICT win 5-3 on penalties. ICT’s Billy McKay scores 1st penalty.

The Caley Jags are two games away from Premiership football as they prepare to face St Johnstone in the play-off final.

Mckay, capped 11 times for Northern Ireland, has played in cup finals and won league titles in his career.

He would put returning to the Premiership with Inverness alongside any one of those memories, though, given how difficult the journey would have been to get there.

“It would be right up there,” the 33-year-old said.

“This is the hardest way to do it, finishing third or fourth and having six games in just over three weeks.

“It’s pretty much set up for the teams who finish third and fourth to fail, but we’ve got this far now.

“We’re two games away, and we don’t even have to win both games – like we saw the other day, you just have to stay in games and try and get to that last moment. Hopefully that last moment takes us up, and it would be a great achievement.

“I’ve been at the club in the past and had some great times, and had a bad time when we got relegated, so it would be great to take the club back to the Premiership. Hopefully we can do that.”

Mckay’s highs have not come without lows.

On a personal note, he has suffered a number of relegations, and even this season Caley Thistle have faced their fair share of trials and tribulations.

An 11-match winless run in the middle of the campaign threatened to wreck their play-off chances, with the clubs affected by a number of injuries throughout the season.

Even most recently, in their last match again Arbroath, ICT were briefly down to eight men before prevailing on penalties, but Mckay feels those moments proves their mental strength.

“There have been a lot of things thrown at us this year inside the changing room and outside the changing room,” Mckay reasoned.

“Obviously we didn’t help ourselves with the run we went through in the middle of the season, but we’ve shown great character to come out the other side of it and go on a good run to get the momentum going again before the play-offs.

“We’ve had a lot thrown at us, but we’re still in there fighting, and we’re two massive games away from getting promoted to the Premiership.

“What an achievement it would be from everyone at the club.”

At the end of the day, every footballer wants to be playing at the highest level.

That was certainly one of the goals Mckay had in mind when returning to the club last summer, and now he wants to get the job done.

“I wanted to come back and play games and help the team get up into the Premiership,” he added.

“We’re two games away from that, and we’re so close. We’ve just got to take it by the scruff of the neck and hopefully we can do it.”


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