December 11, 2012
Butcher wary of County threat
Inverness players have to forget the disparity between themselves and Highland rivals Ross County in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League when they resume battle in the cup on Tuesday night, according to Caley boss Terry Butcher.
In-form Inverness leapfrogged Hibernian into second place in the SPL on Saturday by beating them 3-0, while struggling County were losing 3-2 at Motherwell to keep them in 10th place without a win in six games.
Caley won 3-1 when the two clubs met in their first SPL derby in October and in the recent William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round meeting in Dingwall they grabbed a dramatic last-gasp equaliser against the 2010 finalists to ensure the sides would lock horns again at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
While all the signals point to a Caley win, Butcher - whose side have lost only once in the last 15 games and have already reached the Scottish Communities League Cup semi-final against Hearts in February - said: "We will give them respect and they deserve that.
"They are a fantastic club. They have come a long way in a short space of time, very much like ourselves, and they have been a credit to themselves in the SPL.
"But it's not about SPL football, it's about the cup and look at their recent history; they have been to a cup final, they have had some terrific results in the cup.
"They are scoring goals, Rocco Quinn is on fire at the moment, and they have good delivery on free-kicks and corners, so they are a threat.
"But having said that, in the two matches against them we have scored three goals in each and we aim to score and win again.
"So everyone is looking forward to it. There have been two crackers and this is the third instalment. There has to be a winner and there has to be a loser so it has the making of another entertaining match.
"There have been so many twists and turns in the previous two matches I'm sure there is going to be more in the third.''
Butcher has no fresh injury worries.
Philip Roberts is back in the squad after extending his loan deal from Arsenal.
Nick Ross (shoulder) and Simon King (ankle) are moving toward a comeback, while defender Chris Hogg remains out with a knee injury.
Derek Adams wants his Ross County side to stop playing "kamikaze'' football ahead of the tie.
While in-form Caley Thistle were moving into second place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Hibernian, their Highland rivals were slumping to a 3-2 defeat at Motherwell despite taking the lead and then bringing the game back to 2-2.
After a solid start to their first season in the SPL, the Staggies are without a win in six games and boss Adams was particularly displeased with the concession of Nicky Law's strike a minute into the second half at Fir Park, calling it "idiotic'' and "totally unacceptable".
Adams is looking for improvement at both ends of the pitch when he takes his side to the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, following the 3-3 draw in the first game in Dingwall.
"We have to do a lot better than we did against Motherwell to get through the cup match,'' he said.
"If we defend like that and don't take the chances we had we will be out the cup.
"We had other opportunities to score, very good opportunities, you would have to say they were sitters.
"We are not putting them in the net and are conceding at the other end so it is a wee bit kamikaze and we have to get away from that.
"We have to do better in certain situations. We cannot be so naive because good teams will pick us off.
"And with Inverness coming off an extremely good result we are going to find it extremely difficult.
"So the players will have to get themselves sorted out and get ready for Tuesday night because we need one big performance to get through to the next round of the Scottish Cup.''
Mihael Kovacevic has recovered from illness in time for the game.
The Staggies defender was replaced by Grant Munro at half-time during Saturday's 3-2 Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat at Motherwell, but is in contention.
Russell Duncan, Mark Corcoran, Sam Morrow and Martin Scott are out through injury.