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Remi Savage sets out case for defence at Inverness Caledonian Thistle

By Alasdair Fraser

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Remi Savage. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Remi Savage. Picture: James Mackenzie.

REMI Savage admits it is sink or swim for Caley Thistle’s young defence – after being thrown in at the Championship’s deep end.

The trio who formed the home side’s three-man defence in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Partick Thistle could count just 15 senior first team appearances between them at kick-off.

Ex-Newcastle man Savage (22) moved north on a permanent deal three weeks ago and partnered Leeds United loanee Jeremiah Chilokoa-Mullen (19) and Oldham’s James Carragher (21) in Duncan Ferguson’s starting 11.

All three have shown ability, but most of their game knowledge has so far been gleaned from English reserve football.

Savage – who celebrated his first senior goal – admits they must learn and adapt quickly.

“I was buzzing to score – it was a proud moment for me,” the Liverpudlian said.

“It would have felt sweeter had we got the victory, so it was good to get the goal, but I’d rather have had three points.

“Growing up, I’d never have thought my first senior goal would come in Inverness. I am glad I took the chance.

“We play good attacking football. We work on that in training every day.

“As a group, we feel confident that we can turn the corner in this league, get some wins and push up the table. Hopefully in these next two games, we can get the six points. The lads feel like we can do it.

“As a defence, the three of us who started were all young and it’s our first time in senior football.

“It takes time to bond. We have only been here three or four weeks.

“We’re getting used to it, but we need to show we can keep the ball out the net. It is all about gaining that experience and hopefully we can improve.”

Danny Devine returned to the fray in the second half, raising experience levels and composure in the rearguard.

But the loss of a two-goal lead, and then a 3-2 lead, left Ferguson’s side joint second bottom in the table with Dunfermline, who have a game in hand.

“After going 2-0 up, we felt good, so it was disappointing not to take three points,” Savage stressed. “Partick are third in the league for a reason – they are a decent side.

“We just have to move on now. We have two massive games over the next week, on Saturday then next Tuesday, so hopefully we can get six points.”

Savage, who once turned down a new deal at Liverpool to switch to Newcastle, is enjoying life in the Highlands.

“It’s a really good level. I feel like it was the right step for me, to get a really good standard of men’s football,” he said.

“Hopefully I can push on and show everyone what I can do.

“It is a tight division, but two or three wins on the bounce can push you right up the table.

“We have two really important games in the next week, which we feel we can win. We’re looking forward to Arbroath.”

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