Inverness CT V Hearts at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium : Match Preview

29 January 2016 05:34
Inverness CT V Hearts - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

No problems for Inverness

Inverness have an unchanged squad for their Ladbrokes Premiership encounter with Hearts.

Alex Fisher (ankle), Josh Meekings and James Vincent (both knee) remain on the sidelines while Lewis Horner (foot) could miss out again.

Long-term absentees Dean Brill and Aaron Doran (both knee) are still unavailable.

Inverness manager John Hughes admits he has tightened up his tactics in recent weeks to compensate for his lack of striking options.

Caley Thistle extended top goalscorer Miles Storey's loan spell from Swindon but have seen fellow forward players Dani Lopez, Tobi Sho-Silva and Ryan Christie depart and their one January signing, former Torquay striker Alex Fisher, suffered a bad ankle injury before being able to make his first start.

So Hughes has put more emphasis on defence and been rewarded with four clean sheets in five games.

Hughes said: "We're well aware that we are not quite at it in the top end. That's taking nothing away from Miles Storey, who has been a revelation for us.

"But the players we have lost, Marley Watkins, Billy McKay, Ryan Christie, Nick Ross, these guys that can unlock the door, it has been very difficult to replace them.

"But you can go about your business in a different manner. I think that's been evident over the last two or three weeks, the way we have been applying ourselves, the organisation of the team and the teams we have been picking.

"We will not be too far away on Saturday and I'm just really looking forward to the game."

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson will be without suspended defensive duo Igor Rossi and Blazej Augustyn.

Rossi is starting a two-match ban after his red card in last Sunday's draw at Hamilton, while Augustyn is ruled out after collecting his sixth league booking of the campaign.

However, Neilson is finally able to welcome winger Jamie Walker back after knee surgery. Sam Nicholson (knee) and Morgaro Gomis (bruised foot) are also due to return, but Billy King has moved to Rangers on loan.

Teenager Dario Zanatta is pushing for a start after making six substitute appearances for Hearts since his promotion to the first team.

The 18-year-old Canadian missed a sitter in the goalless draw with Hamilton last weekend, but is pleased with the progress he is making.

He said: "It's my first time being away from home so it's not easy, especially being so far away from home. I like to think of myself being quite mature so I've managed to deal with it. It will only help me grow up.

"But I've really enjoyed it over here. All my team-mates have made me feel very welcome and the family I live with are very nice.

"I'm living in digs right now with a married couple, Margaret and Neil. It's very different staying in someone else's house but I'm getting used to it.

"However, they are so nice and have done so much to make me feel at home. They are both very big Hearts fans - they even have all the Hearts memorabilia placed round the house."

Source: PAR