Blogs & Opinion


Terry Butcher's work at Inverness is impressive, says Andy Walker

Motherwell - Andy Walker Posted 12th November 2012 view comments

It's been a wonderful start to the season for Terry Butcher's Inverness Caley Thistle and I'm looking forward to travelling to the Highlands on Sunday to see them take on Motherwell in Sky's live SPL clash at the Tulloch Stadium.

Just a few weeks ago, Terry Butcher enjoyed one of the biggest nights in his managerial career when he led his unfancied players to a comfortable 3-0 victory at Ibrox against Rangers in the Scottish Communities League Cup.

Butcher: Enjoying a good run at Inverness

Butcher: Enjoying a good run at Inverness

A semi-final against Hearts is now on the back-burner until January with a place in the final against either Celtic or St Mirren up for grabs.

And if more evidence was required as to how far the Highlanders have come in such a short space of time, it was provided when Caley Thistle star Andrew Shinnie was called up by caretaker manager Billy Stark for Scotland's friendly against Luxembourg later this week.

Butcher decided to make changes and has taken his club in a different direction.

Terry Butcher
Quotes of the week

The 23-year old Aberdonian has already scored nine times this season and if he does get on to the park at some stage, he'll become the first Inverness Caley Thistle player to win a full cap.

All of this is a far cry from what was expected of Caley Thistle at the start of the season.

After just a few weeks of the SPL, I found it painful to see Caley Thistle concede four goals at home to Celtic in a shocking defensive display and they followed up by losing another four goals at Motherwell in their next game.

Avenging that four-goal defeat at Fir Park will be on their minds on Sunday.

Everyone in Scotland is used to seeing Caley Thistle fighting for their SPL survival and it was a big decision from Butcher to dispense with the experience of Ross Tokely and Grant Munro in the summer.

With a combined 30 years of experience behind them, the old guard had served the club well but Butcher decided to make changes and has taken his club in a different direction.

He couldn't do anything about losing Johnny Hayes to Aberdeen and it's fair to say that another long fight against relegation was on the cards when the new players failed to gel in the early part of the campaign.

But Saturday's home draw against Hearts made it 10 games unbeaten for Butcher's men and the question now must be if his players can get used to consistent results and being in the top half of the table.

That's a different mindset entirely but one that Butcher and his assistant Maurice Malpas are used to.

Watch 'Well

But they won't find it easy against Stuart McCall's Motherwell.

If there was one side in the SPL who Inverness Caley Thistle should look to in terms of consistently punching above their weight in recent seasons, it's Motherwell.

Clubs such as Hibs, Hearts, Aberdeen and Dundee Utd have far greater wage bills but Motherwell have shown that you can achieve good results on a weekly basis with players who know what their jobs are and who carry out the manager's instructions.

McCall's side had a taste of European football at the start of the season with a Champions League qualifier against Panathinaikos but with Michael Higdon off the boil in recent weeks, they have struggled for the consistency we know they're capable of.

Inverness v Motherwell, Sun, Sky Sports, Sky Sports 4 HD, 12.30pm.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Guillem Balague

Making it for Messi

Barca and Real feature but Spain's best side isn't in the Copa del Rey final, says Guillem Balague....

Paul Merson

Still in the frame

Paul Merson says Everton's top-four bid and Man City's title hopes won't be derailed on Wednesday....

Latest News RSS feeds

Sturridge could face Norwich

Liverpool are optimistic that striker Daniel Sturridge will be fit for this weekend's game against Norwich.

'No United offer' for Kroos

Pep Guardiola remains keen to keep Toni Kroos at Bayern Munich following reports Manchester United had made an offer.

Lerner comes out fighting

Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has issued a bullish statement in reaction to the suspension of two of his coaches.

De Gea's Europa League target

David de Gea says Man United are determined to ensure that they will be competing in European competition next season.

PFA: Refs need penalty rethink

PFA boss Bobby Barnes says referees need to be prepared to give penalties even if a fouled player stays on his feet.

Features

Saluting Giroud

Saluting Giroud

Daniel Storey has praise for Olivier Giroud after a soldiering performance against West Ham.

Copa commitment

Copa commitment

Tim Stannard explains why the Copa Del Rey has become absolutely vital for a lacklustre Barcelona.

Liverpool was a city united on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster

Liverpool was a city united on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster

From early morning, a steady stream of visitors made their way to the Hillsborough Memorial on Anfield Road to pay their respects.