McCann fancied MacKay to score in Caley Thistle win over Ross County
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Inverness Caledonian Thistle interim manager Neil McCann says he had a feeling that Daniel MacKay was going to score in last Friday’s Highland derby.
Score MacKay certainly did, claiming the goal of the game in a direct counter attack.
Stephen Kelly’s ball into the Caley Thistle penalty area was cleared by David Carson to the 19-year-old on the halfway line, who then charged forward.
Cutting in from the left, he squeezed between Charlie Lakin and Leo Hjelde to go one-on-one with Ross Laidlaw, before coolly slotting past the goalkeeper to give Inverness the advantage.
It was the teenager’s third goal in five games, and McCann – a former winger himself – knows how much of an asset his pace and attacking intent is to the current Caley Thistle side.
“The boy is lightning quick, and I know speed terrifies defenders so he was one of the ones I wanted to go and show that pace,” McCann explained.
“When he shows it and believes in himself, he’s a real handful and a real threat. That was a really good individual goal, carrying the ball like he did, cutting inside and then popping it away.
“I told him before the game that I fancied him to score.
“It’s lovely to see a boy beaming when he does something really good because that’s what he’s there to do. He works hard out of possession, but he had to show how good he is in possession and he did that tonight.
“Speed is a very high commodity to have and personally he just needs to know and believe that he can use that to terrify people. He’s still learning, but I think he’s enjoying how we’re playing at the minute.
“He knows his job out of possession – that side of the game can sometimes go amiss in a winger but he doesn’t shirk it. The group won’t allow him to shirk it, and he’s been allowed to show how good he is in possession because we tried to get it to him as quickly as possible.
“He’s one of a number of kids here that have shown they have a good career ahead of them.”