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Premiership is within touching distance for ICT


By Andrew Henderson


Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender Brad McKay says the Premiership feels like it is within touching distance as the club kicks off its play-off campaign tonight.

The Caley Jags travel to Ayr for the first of potentially six matches that could end with Inverness returning to Scotland's top flight.

They would have to see off the Honest Men, then defeat Dundee United and either St Mirren or Hamilton Academicals over two legs each to do so.

But McKay says the thought of bringing Premiership football back to the Caledonian Stadium is an exciting one.

Brad McKay is excited at the possibility of winning promotion to the Premiership through the play-offs. Pictures: Ken Macpherson
Brad McKay is excited at the possibility of winning promotion to the Premiership through the play-offs. Pictures: Ken Macpherson

"It's mad, you're a couple of games away from playing in the Premiership," he enthused.

"If you can look that far, you're in touching distance.

"If you can take care of the teams in the league that we've got ahead of us, we've beaten them before, so you've got to look at the positives and know that we can beat them and we can go back and beat them home and away.

"Whoever it's going to be coming down, St Mirren possibly, that's the challenge, that's the last step, and it is exciting.

"You've got Arbroath coming up and you've got Alloa still in the league. No disrespect to these teams, they've been amazing and Alloa have been different class, it's been refreshing having them in the league.

"But you could be going to Arbroath and Alloa, or you could be going to Parkhead and Ibrox. That's the difference.

"It's huge financial gains for the club as well, so it's amazing."

ICT could join Highland neighbours Ross County in the top flight should they go all the way after the Staggies earned promotion as champions.

Highland derbies have been some of the closest matches either side have played this season, with County just inching past Caley Thistle by a single goal on two occasions.

Seeing them lift the Championship trophy gives Inverness an extra incentive to go up alongside them, according to McKay.

"It's frustrating for us in the dressing room watching them go up, and knowing that we've stood toe-to-toe with them," he admitted.

"There's not many games that they battered us, and we've walked away thinking that's why they're top of the league.

"There has never been a point like that with any team in the league, we've always done well against the bigger teams in the league.

"It's the points here and there that end up getting you championships, the home games you lose to Partick, those are the ones that do matter.

"We have stood tow-to-toe with the top three or four in the league, so we can go again."

Ahead of tonight's trip to Somerset Park, Inverness can take confidence from knowing they are unbeaten in the four matches the sides have already played this season.

The Inverness defender scored the winning goal last time the two teams met at Somerset Park.
The Inverness defender scored the winning goal last time the two teams met at Somerset Park.

But although those are good memories, they count for nothing when it comes to knockout competition.

"We've got a good record against Ayr, we should have beaten them up here at the start of the season," McKay recalled.

"It was 2-2 I think, but we absolutely battered them. Their manager even said that he didn't know how they walked away with a draw.

"Going down there as well, we beat them last time and I came on and scored two minutes later.

"It's just a one-off game. You can look at all the games before, and they will give us confidence, but none of that matters any more.

"It doesn't matter, because anything can happen. We just want to give ourselves the best possible start to bring it back up here and try and take care of it."



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