Inverness Caledonian Thistle versus MORTON
Saturday 19 August 2017
Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Inverness
Morton make the journey north to Inverness today looking to end a long-standing hoodoo at a venue that has been far from a happy hunting ground for the club over the years.
The Sinclair Street side have failed to beat Inverness Caledonian Thistle at their Tulloch-sponsored stadium in eight attempts, with the best outcome a 1-1 draw on their first ever visit way back in 1999.
In fact, the seven defeats have often been of the emphatic variety, including two 4-0 losses – one of which was the most recent meeting, a Scottish Cup tie in 2013 – a 5-1, a 4-1, a 4-2, and even a 6-2 reverse.
Although they exited the Irn-Bru Cup in midweek, losing 2-0 to Livingston, Jim Duffy’s squad should still be confident they can avoid a similar fate today following a thumping 4-1 victory over rivals St Mirren seven days ago.
The hosts, meanwhile, prop up the Championship table having lost both of their opening league fixtures – but they will be determined to both preserve their fine home record against the Ton and kickstart their season.
Jim Duffy told gmfc.net: “In terms of the performance levels, we’re looking for a marked improvement. We saw the two sides of football really within the same of three days.
“We were absolutely tremendous against St Mirren and the complete opposite against Livingston: we didn’t turn up and didn’t deserve anything other than being knocked out.
“So we’re looking at performance levels. You can’t always guarantee winning, but our performance levels have to be a lot better than they were on Tuesday.
“Desire is not something we’ve questioned about the players, but I don’t think anyone could argue that, on Tuesday, the hungrier team won.
“That was the most disappointing thing – it sticks in the throat – so the players are under no illusions that was something we’re not happy about, at all.
“It’s up to them to show a response and that determination, and the best way to do that is to do it up in Inverness on Saturday.
“I’ve got a bit of thinking to do. I’ve told the players that if they’re selected to play, they can feel fortunate – and if they’re not, they can’t complain.”
“It’s going to be a difficult match for us up in Inverness. They lost comprehensively last week against Dunfermline.
“The way you can get back on track again is to quickly get a positive result, particularly at home. So I’m sure they’ll be fired up for it; John Robertson will have them really fired up for the challenge.
“That will probably make it even more difficult than it might’ve been against a side who, let’s not forget, were a Premiership side for the last seven years.”
Defenders Lee Kilday and Darren Barr remain sidelined and Lewis Strapp will drop back out of the starting line-up after joining Elgin City on loan. Celtic goalkeeper Ross Doohan could make his Morton debut.
There are no current connections between the clubs.
Sat 13 Mar 2010: Inverness C.T. 1-0 Morton (Irn-Bru First Division)
Tue 6 Apr 2010: Morton 0-2 Inverness C.T. (Irn-Bru First Division)
Sat 5 Feb 2011: Inverness C.T. 5-1 Morton (Active Nation Scottish Cup, fifth round)
Sat 30 Nov 2013: Inverness C.T. 4-0 Morton (William Hill Scottish Cup, fourth round)
Last Time Out
Interim manager David Hopkin took charge of Morton for the first time in a Scottish Cup tie away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in November 2013.
Despite some encouraging signs, including a first start for then 17-year-old Mark Russell, the Greenock side eventually suffered a 4-0 loss to exit the competition.
They fell behind in first half injury time to a goal from Nick Ross before a Billy McKay double and an Aaron Doran goal at the death put a flattering sheen on the scoreline.
The tie was also memorable for a power cut that saw both teams left sat in the dressing room for over half an hour as Scottish Hydro attempted to address a city-wide blackout..
Referee: Stephen Finnie
Assistant one: Douglas Ross
Assistant two: Craig Wilson
Admission prices are:
Concessions (Over 65 and 16-25): £15
Morton supporters will be seated in the South Stand, sections A to E, and tickets must be purchased at the kiosk adjacent to the stand. Wheelchair users pays entry with carer free and tickets are purchased at the ticket office.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle is a family club and expects fans to behave reasonably. Searching may take place prior to entry and unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated with offenders liable to ejection of arrest. Anyone consuming alcohol to excess will be refused entry.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle extends a welcome to fans at the Sports Bar on site, which opens from 1.00pm for hot and cold drinks, snacks and alcoholic beveridges.
Travel by Road: Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Station Road, Inverness, IV1 1FF, for Sat Nav users.
A8/M8 – M80 – M9 – A9 to Inverness. Take third right at Longman roundabout on A9 and follow road to the stadium car park
Travel by Rail:
Greenock – Glasgow Central – Queen Street – Inverness. Stadium is a 20-minute walk from station into Longman Road through signposted industrial estate to stadium.
Official car park around the stadium is £3 for cars and free for coaches.
Image: Jonathan Mitchell