RICHIE Foran insists Caley Thistle must be fearless and ruthless as they bid to pull off the great escape in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Inverness CT manager, whose side have won just once in their last 22 league matches, are five points adrift at the bottom of the table and, bar a winning run in their final five fixtures, they look set for a return to the Championship for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Next Friday, the Highland derby in Dingwall sees them take on a Ross County side four places and eight points richer than them following last weekend’s results.
ICT lost 4-2 at Motherwell in a match overshadowed by the decision to allow the third home goal, "scored" by Scott McDonald.
An Alex Fisher double had cancelled out early goals from Chris Cadden and Louis Moult and it was the visitors who looked likely to go on and move to within one point of their hosts.
Referee Willie Collum judged that McDonald’s shot had crossed the line and 18-year-old Allan Campbell added salt to the wounds with a four Well goal.
The means with just five games to go, ICT are five adrift of Dundee, who occupy the relegation play-off spot and have this week sacked their boss Paul Hartley.
County go into the game boosted by their 2-2 draw with champions Celtic on Sunday, although controversy continues after Alex Schalk dived to win the spot-kick Liam Boyce scored from to earn that precious point.
Foran, who this week brought former assistant boss Maurice Malpas back to the club as a first-team coach, said: "We’ve got a fantastic derby to look forward to and we’ll go to Ross County and be fearless as we have nothing to lose now. We have to go all out for the wins.
"The players have to stand up and be better than they have been. That’s the only way we can change this." The former club captain insists the foundation for his players to work upon to earn these victories is to defend better.
He explained: "We created chances against Motherwell and their goalkeeper was outstanding for them. At 2-2, there was only one team going to win and that was us and it’s frustrating that once again we have played well for large stages of the game and come away with nothing.
"We cannot keep letting crosses into the box or letting our markers get away from us as we are going to keep conceding goals if we do. We’ve got to get tighter and mark better."
He added: "There is no magic man who can come in, not another five or six players who can come in and help us out. We’ve got to stick together and we will stick together for the big matches that are coming up."
County have the edge in the three derbies this season, scoring a couple of 3-2 wins, with the last game in Inverness in March ending in a 1-1 draw.
*** See this week's HN for the reaction from Foran to Malpas making his return to ICT until the end of the season.