Boxing Day Preview: Welcoming the BuddiesBy: Ian Rose | December 26th, 2010
It’s Boxing Day and that means enough holiday cheer: it’s time for the fitba. For the Caley Thistle, it means a visit by the Buddies of St. Mirren. Despite widespread postponements for snow, our match looks to be going ahead, so let’s have a quick look at said Buddies:
League standing: 10th
13 points from 16 matches, -13 goal difference
Away record: 1 win, 1 draw, 5 losses
Squad available: Samson, van Zanten, McAusland, Potter, McGregor, Travner, Thomson, Cregg, McLean, Higdon, McGowan, McQuade, Gallacher, Lynch, Barron, Mooy, Love, Dargo.
Danger men: Michael Higdon, Craig Dargo
This may or may not be the return match of Craig Dargo from his injury woes, but if it is, I would throw out the statistics and call him the bigger danger than team scoring leader Higdon. Dargo was one of our best when he played for Caley, and he’s shown us since that he loves to score at Caledonian Stadium, regardless of what team he plays for. We have a few returns of our own, with Gil Blumenstein and Chris Innes. Eric Odhiambo will also be available. Jonny Hayes is a doubt, and frankly, I’d like to see him not play. We need him for a season, not a match, and if there’s a match I’m okay with missing him for, it’s the Buddies at home.
Their away record is about as good as our home one. As legendarily good as we have been on the road, we still cannot defend our home stadium, and the players know it. This is a relegation-threatened team we’re facing, and we need to be able to beat them in Inverness. I think we can, even without the brilliance that Jonny Hayes has shown of late. We’ll need Foran and Rooney to take us ahead, and we’ll need Rossco, Munro and the rest of the backline to pretend they’re on the road and keep us clean. This is a winnable match, and a home win would do wonders for us. Imagine if the SPL feared coming to Inverness the way they fear us coming to them. It’s a happy thought. Mon the Caley.