Inverness CT boss Richie Foran needs 'nasty lads' to avoid relegation

Manager Richie Foran feels his Inverness team lack the "warriors" and "real men" he believes would help them escape relegation from the Premiership.

"We have too many good guys in our team, too many nice guys," lamented the Irishman after a 4-0 defeat at rivals Ross County left them five points adrift at the bottom of the table.

"I need nasty lads, I need aggressive boys, but you can't give that to them; you need to be born with that.

"I've got to look at my signings."

Caley Thistle, on 25 points, have now played one game more than second-bottom Dundee, who could extend the gap between the Premiership's bottom two with a win away to Motherwell on Saturday.

Hamilton and Motherwell, ninth and 10th respectively, have 32 points but have played 33 games, one fewer than the Highlanders.

In need of 'real men'

Liam Boyce scores his and Ross County's second
Liam Boyce scores his and Ross County's second goal in Dingwall, a looping header that evaded Caley Thistle's stand-in keeper Ryan Esson

"It's going to be harder but not impossible," said Foran of his team's chances of avoiding automatic relegation by finishing last.

"But there are still 12 points up for grabs. If we get 12 points we have a great chance. Obviously it's a tough task now.

"I can see some of the players are low in confidence.

"The problem today is that we weren't as aggressive as Ross County. They wanted it more, they bullied us a bit.

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Interviews: Richie Foran and Jim McIntyre

"Maybe I should have signed a couple of warriors, a couple of real men to go with the ball players that we have."

Inverness have won only four league games this season. They host Hamilton next Saturday, take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on 13 May, Dundee at Dens Park three days later and complete their campaign with a home game against Motherwell on 20 May.

Their best chance of survival would appear to be by finishing 11th and coming out on top over the two legs of a Premiership play-off final against Championship teams Falkirk, Dundee United or Morton.

"I still believe in the players," Foran told BBC Scotland after the game in Dingwall in which Liam Boyce scored all four County goals and Inverness had Liam Polworth sent off with 30 minutes remaining.

"We need to start games a bit better, we need to stop conceding early goals, we need to stop making individual mistakes.

Richie Foran speaks to Jake Mulraney and Greg Tansey at Ross County's Victoria Park
Richie Foran speaks to Jake Mulraney and Greg Tansey at Ross County's Victoria Park

"The quality is there but we need to be more aggressive. We need more warriors on the park.

"The players now need to become warriors to go with the good footballers that they are."

'I'm to blame...mostly'

Foran wants his players to react by imagining the season starts with the match against the Accies, though he accepts that he is "mostly" to blame for the team's plight.

"The board have backed me with everything I've asked for," he said.

"I've signed the players I wanted to sign. Players need to stand up and be counted, which a few of them haven't. I've signed probably half of them.

"I've picked the team, I've picked the shape, the training, so most of it has to go on me.

"I'm not looking to make any friends with the board by saying this. This is the truth, it's nothing to do with the board."

County 'still not safe'

Boyce took his tally for the season to 21 with his haul, having hit 20 in the previous campaign.

"Liam has been priceless for the last couple of years," said manager Jim McIntyre. "He's had a family bereavement this week but he went out and did his uncle proud by banging in four goals.

"The two strikers were exceptional. Boyce will get the headlines but him and Curran are such a potent partnership. Craig is back to his very best.

"It was frantic, frenetic at times, and getting that all-important first goal is crucial. We kicked on from there.

"We didn't have a recognised centre-back tonight, three full-backs in there, our wing-backs are predominantly wingers who are not used to doing a lot of defending.

"The sending off obviously demoralises Inverness but I was really pleased with how we kept the ball after that.

"We won't finish in the bottom spot but we are certainly not safe [from the play-off place]. There is a lot of work still to do.

"After missing out on the top six, we want to be best of the rest. If we keep up the work-rate and desire, we'll pick up more points."

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