Inverness CT V Dundee at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium : Match Preview

21 December 2012 06:01
Inverness CT V Dundee - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Warren eyes defensive solidity as well as goals

Inverness defender Gary Warren is looking to double his current goal tally before the season ends but realises keeping it tight at the back needs to be his priority.

The former Newport County player, who joined Caley in the summer, scored his fourth goal for the Highlanders in last week's remarkable 4-4 Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Dundee United at Tannadice, where the spirited visitors fought back after losing three early goals.

Terry Butcher's men sit one point behind second-placed Motherwell and are the SPL's top scorers with 38 goals but they have conceded 32, one more than bottom side Dundee, whom they meet at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium on Saturday.

Warren, 28, admitted his personal aim amid a recognition of why he was brought to Inverness by the former England stopper.

He said: "As a defender you like to set yourself little targets over the course of a season.

"I think I have scored four this season and I am just hoping now that I could score another four after Christmas, that would be a good return for a centre-half.

"But at the moment I am just trying to do my bit as a defender and the most important thing for us is to keep as many clean sheets as we can.

"To concede three so early last Saturday was disappointing as a defender but coming back and scoring later helped out the team."

In light of Caley's form - they have lost one of their last 17 games - Warren is unsurprisingly confident of victory against a struggling side whom they beat 4-1 at Dens Park in October.

"Any team in this league is dangerous," he said.

"But the way we are playing at the moment we are not going to fear anyone and we won't fear anyone so if you look at it, we should really come away with three points.

"But to do that we have to be on our game. We have to start the game well, better than we did last week.

"It was a tough game against Dundee down there, we started really well but they came into it and 2-1 up is always a tough scoreline.

"You really need to get that third goal to kill teams off and it was fortunate that we scored two."

Dundee manager Barry Smith insists his side can build on their draw with Ross County as they return to the highlands.

The Dark Blues were on course for a win in Dingwall last weekend until the Staggies hit a late equaliser but Smith still insisted there were plenty positives to take from their match with their fellow Clydesdale Bank Premier League new boys.

Now the basement club find themselves on the road north again, this time to tackle third-placed Caley Thistle, and Smith believes they can take inspiration from their most recent trip.

Smith said: "We can take a lot of heart from the County game going into this one.

"I think it will be a similar type of match, in terms of the opposition and how tough it will be, so the Inverness game should stand us in good stead.

"We acquitted ourselves really well and we'll need to do the same again this Saturday.

"It's never easy going to Inverness but we have no fears about it. We'll go into it like any other game, looking to get the three points, and hopefully we can get a positive result to show for our efforts."

Dundee face a tough festive period with Inverness first up, followed by Boxing Day opponents Celtic and then Aberdeen.

Smith knows the Christmas fixture list is always important but will focus on only take one game at a time.

He said: "There are a lot of big games to look forward to.

"They tend to come thick and fast at this time of the year and the players love that sort of thing.

"But we can only really take one match as it comes and then concentrate on the next when it comes round.

"Inverness will get our full attention as they deserve it. They are doing really well just now and Terry Butcher has them playing with a lot of spirit and style.

"In saying that, we know what we can do on our day, which is what we want to produce come Saturday.

"Our supporters have been great all season and, of course, we would love to give them something to be happy about at this time of the year."


Source: PA