Inverness CT V Motherwell at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium : Match Preview

17 November 2012 02:01
Inverness CT V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Butcher proud of duo

Inverness manager Terry Butcher believes his full squad should take pride and credit for Andrew Shinnie and Billy McKay's international call-ups.

Midfielder Shinnie made his Scotland debut on Wednesday in the 2-1 friendly win over Luxembourg while striker McKay was in Northern Ireland's squad for their 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Azerbaijan.

The calls came after Inverness recorded a 10-match unbeaten run and finished last weekend on top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League scoring charts.

"It's brilliant," Butcher said. "It has been a great week, we have all been glued to the TV on Wednesday night. It's an incredible thing for the whole club and the whole city too because it hasn't happened many times.

"It's a big feather in the cap for the club as well as the players too. I think all the players felt part of it, that they had helped these two get recognition.

"We have played some lovely football, scored goals and climbed the table, and everyone has played their part in getting them into their country's squads.

"Everyone can take a great deal of credit and pride at what these boys have achieved. It was a lovely warm feeling this week.

"Billy didn't get on but Andy Shinnie is a Scottish international. You can carry that around for the rest of your life. You have played for your country, that's a big, big achievement."

Butcher did that 77 times, making his first England appearance in 1980. And he feels McKay and Shinnie, who has six SPL goals and five assists this season, will be inspired by their experiences.

"I had a great international career. My first game we won 2-1 out in Australia, many, many years ago, before most of these players were born.

"Just the fact I had played, on the flight home and in subsequent months I had a lovely warm feeling.

"It does inspire you to get back and get in the squad on a regular basis.

"That's the boys' aims and it's our aim to help them do that."

Shinnie and McKay's immediate aim is to continue Caley Thistle's run against Motherwell, the last team to beat them, in a 4-1 victory for the home team at Fir Park on September 2.

Butcher said: "I don't think Motherwell kick-started our run but they certainly kicked us somewhere where it hurt.

"We did play well that day though and Darren Randolph was man of the match, he made some incredible saves, and we missed a penalty.

"We could and should have scored more goals that day. Motherwell were very good that day too. It was a great game of football.

"I thought at that stage of season, having lost 4-2 to Celtic the week before, that it was going to be one of those seasons where we are conceding a lot of goals not scoring at the other end and not getting what we deserved.

"But the boys have knuckled down and been absolutely fantastic.

"It will be nice to play them again, it still rankles that we lost 4-1 that day.

"Yes, we want revenge but we also want to keep climbing the table and stretch the unbeaten run to 11 games."

Inverness midfielder Ross Draper is out of Sunday's clash with Motherwell. Draper has still not recovered from the ankle injury he picked up in the recent win at Kilmarnock.

Simon King (ankle), Chris Hogg (knee), Nick Ross (shoulder) and Ryan Esson (hip) are still out.

Motherwell striker Henrik Ojamaa insists that he has no concerns over his long run of games without a goal.

The Estonia striker has failed to hit the net since April and Motherwell travel to Inverness on the back of just one victory in their last seven games.

But Ojamaa said: "I am happy with how I am progressing, the goals aren't coming at the moment but I feel that I am benefiting the team in other ways.

"I'm not the type of player who will let form or statistics affect me, I will still play the same way and continue to make attempts on goal.

"I was hoping after beating St Johnstone we could have gone on and won against Dundee United and then Dundee.

"It could be worse, we could be playing poorly and not picking up results - I believe it won't be long before we turn things around.

"If we keep this form going then the results will come eventually, the quality we have will come through, I have no doubts about that.

Motherwell's preparations for the trip north have been hit by illness, with several players suffering from flu.

Ojamaa is one of the few players in Stuart McCall's squad who has not been affected by the bug and he is relishing the opportunity of taking on Butcher's side.

The 21-year-old did not make the trip to Dubai for Estonia's midweek friendly against the UAE, after Motherwell made a request to the Estonian FA.

"I like being able to train and ensuring that I am ready to play every week, the situation with illness isn't ideal although I'm sure the players who come back will still give their all," he added.

"The club contacted the Estonian FA to request that I didn't make the trip, of course it would have been nice to have played in Dubai but I would much prefer looking forward to playing Inverness."

Illness within the Fir Park squad forced the cancellation of two training sessions this week, with only four first-team players deemed fit enough to take part.

Shaun Hutchinson came through a training session on Friday unscathed and may be considered for selection, however long-term absentee Steven Saunders (knee) remains sidelined.

Source: PA