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Highland Derby Fever
Published : 01 Dec 2012 12:25:19Rss feed
A derby in the cup will warm the fans up for the game in Dingwall.
Ross County manager Derek Adams wants his side to emulate their Scottish Cup run of 2010 this season - starting with a home win over local rivals Inverness. The Dingwall side made it all the way to the final a couple of years ago - taking care of SPL sides along the way - before losing to Dundee United at Hampden. Adams would love to see his side have another crack at silverware this time around but knows the visit of Caley Thistle is a tough game to get past. He said: "We want to get back to another final like we did in 2010. It was a difficult progression through the rounds and we had to beat the likes of Hibernian and Celtic on the way. We've got a tough one to start with against Inverness. It's a tough hurdle but we're in positive mood and we go into the game ready for them. I don't think we'll have to say much from a motivational point of view on Saturday. The players will be motivated enough and ready to go. We'll just have to be aware of Inverness' threats and try to exploit their weaknesses.'' Cup ties can be decided on little things and the County manager hopes home advantage can make all the difference today. Adams said: "We're looking forward to the game, especially with it being at home. It's a good opportunity for us to try to progress to the next round of the cup and Inverness will be thinking the same way. We've done well at home against Inverness before, with a win and a draw. If we can take that mentality into the cup game, we'll do well. Inverness have done very well of late and have managed to put a run together. But the players want to win the match and progress to the next round and they'll be focused.'' Adams' Inverness counterpart Terry Butcher is confident his players have forgotten their recent heroics and will be fully focused on their historic William Hill Scottish Cup game with Ross County. Caley Thistle have enjoyed one of the best weeks in their history with wins on the road against Celtic and Aberdeen taking them to the top three of the SPL. However, local bragging rights can count for more that league placement and cup progression. Butcher is confident his players will have come down from the highs of Parkhead and Pittodrie when they run out at the Global Energy Stadium. The former England captain said: "When the draw was made, if it had been a lower-league club then there was a grave danger of the players not approaching the game in the right frame of mind. But because it's Ross County away from home, the first ever Highland derby in the Scottish Cup, the players know it's a very, very big game and on the same level as the ones we have played before, if not higher. They have managed to put the Celtic and Aberdeen game to the back of their minds because they are history now and have no bearing on this game. It stands alone and it should be a cracker. The players are right up for it.'' Caley Thistle's new-look team won the first league derby meeting with a 3-1 home win in September despite the visitors having much more experience of the game, with several former Inverness players in their team. And Butcher feels their form will have no relevance in the latest encounter. He said: "A lot of our boys haven't been there. Only Ryan Esson and Richie (Foran) have been there before. I haven't won there as Caley Thistle manager. I have got a draw there. But it was the same at Celtic Park last week and Billy McKay and the rest of the team turned that round. Previous history and the previous match, which we won 3-1, doesn't count. This stands alone, it's a one-off cup tie. It will be a cracking match, a cracking ground and a brilliant atmosphere. No-one has played in a Highland derby in the Scottish Cup. No-one has any experience of it. So what has happened before has no bearing. No matter what both teams have done this week, what the form is, what the history is, counts for nothing. How you go about it on the day is key to it. For me, no-one is the favourite. Ross County are at home but cup ties are major levellers.''
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