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Summit slip can inspire Inverness Caledonian Thistle to recovery away at Partick Thistle

By Alasdair Fraser

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Tom Walsh wants Caley Thistle to use Tuesday night’s tumble from top spot to inspire them to victory at Firhill this weekend.

In buffeting wind and bucketing rain, the hosts slipped up against Arbroath, losing 1–0 to a Michael McKenna dead ball strike.

Kilmarnock’s late penalty kick winner against Ayr then dislodged Billy Dodds’ side from the Championship summit for the first time since the beginning of the campaign.

Walsh, looking sharp again after injury, was one of the evening’s best performers in horrible conditions but expects a very different type of contest away to Partick Thistle

“It was a disappointing night obviously on Tuesday, especially at our ground – we don’t want to lose any home game,” the winger said.

“We’ve had a great start, though, all things considered, and we just need to take it on the chin and go and get a win on Saturday. It is the first time in a while we’ve not sat top of the league. Is that an extra incentive going down to Partick? I’d say yes, definitely.

Walsh evades Arbroath’s Thomas O’Brien to deliver a cross on Tuesday. Picture: Ken Macpherson
Walsh evades Arbroath’s Thomas O’Brien to deliver a cross on Tuesday. Picture: Ken Macpherson

“You always want to stay there as long as you can, but it is a long season. We’re just past the first quarter.

“We just need to go down to Firhill and look to win the game. You win again and everything is rosy, that’s the focus for Saturday.

“The first meeting with them at our ground was probably our best performance of the season so far, especially in the second half of that match.

“It is a place we have enjoyed going to in the past as well as we’ve had a few good results there.

“Partick are a strong team, one of the main contenders, so it is going to be tough but every game is.

“We need to get back on the scoresheet and start getting goals and, hopefully, we can get back to winning ways.”

Defeat left Caley Jags level with Kilmarnock on points and goal difference, but with the Rugby Park side having scored one more goal.

Raith Rovers’ Fife derby draw away to Dunfermline left them four points behind, with part-timers Arbroath continuing their remarkable progress by climbing into third place.

“Arbroath always make it difficult for everyone,” Walsh said.

“They’re a really good, well-drilled team. We knew it was going to be tough, but we just couldn’t break them down for that goal.

“The Championship is wide open with a lot of clubs in contention. There’s Partick, Raith, Killie and Arbroath, too, are a really good team in their own right.

“There’s absolutely no reason why they can’t be up there. They might be part-time, but they have a great way of playing and are well-drilled. We just have to focus on ourselves and try to get that three points again on Saturday.”

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