Butcher hails Inverness resolve

Terry Butcher
Butcher commiserates with Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Terry Butcher praised his side's resolve following their 3-2 win against Celtic.

The Highland club released 10 players on Tuesday and Butcher said the squad deserved credit for their response.

"Everybody had a great spirit about them, even though they had been told they didn't have a future at the club," Butcher told BBC Scotland.

"It shows great character and great heart, and a wonderful attitude."

Adam Rooney's flick gave Inverness a seventh-minute lead, but a superb Kris Commons strike from 18 yards out two minutes later restored the balance.

Grant Munro's fine goal gave the host the advantage again on 53 minutes, then Shane Sutherland volleyed home for the third, before Commons converted a penalty.

The win for Caley leaves Celtic in second place in the Scottish Premier League with three matches remaining.

And Butcher felt his side deserved more goals from the game.

"Everybody ran their socks off, it was great," said Butcher.

"I thought we played some wonderful stuff. It could have been a lot more, but Fraser Forster made some great saves.

"It's a wonderful feeling to get to 44 points and take seventh place - it's great for our fans, because they've had a lot of torment at home.

"We've let them down on several occasions, so it's good for them to go away singing and dancing."

Celtic could have been awarded a penalty in the dying seconds of stoppage time, but referee Stevie O'Reilly waved away the claims when Paddy McCourt went down under pressure.

However, Butcher was non-commital on O'Reilly's decision and insists he would have still been happy had the match ended in a draw.

"The first one was definitely a penalty and the second one could have been a penalty," said Butcher.

"I never saw it, I had my fingers over my eyes at the time.

"I thought if they scored and made it 3-3, it was still a great result for us.

"But they didn't get it, for whatever reason, and we went on and won the game."