Livi v The Caley Jags - Today 3pm

Last updated : 22 January 2005 By

Craig Brewster and his sheep
Inverness Caley boss Craig Brewster claimed today that Livingston did his players a huge favour by beating them on the opening day of the season (Aye whatever? Speak to the hand Craigy boy. Ed).

The ambitious Highland outfit's first game in the Bank of Scotland Premier League quickly became a nightmare when their party balloons were popped with a 3-0 defeat at Almondvale.

But Brewster, who took over from John Robertson, believes that drubbing provided the wake up-call they needed.

Inverness are still three points off the foot of the table - after some disappointing recent results - but they have done better than most people envisaged at the start of the season.

Brewster has full confidence in the players he has inherited and he believes they are a different side now as they return to the scene of their opening day disaster.

He said: "The players and team have come a long way since the first game of the season (Aye, about forty thousand miles! Ed).

"The players didn't believe they were in the Premier League then but since that day the players have realised that they can compete with the big boys and should be here.

"It is all about belief and that belief has now come to fruition."

Livingston have since slumped to the bottom of the table and Richard Gough has a big a job on his hands to lift them up after replacing the sacked Allan Preston.

Both men are new to management but Brewster is backing his opposite number to turn Livi's fortunes around.

"There are few players who have done what he has," he continued. "He did everything as a player - captaining his country and Rangers - and there weren't many bigger players.

"He has taken that enthusiasm and character into managing and that will only rub off on the players he has.

"I've nothing but admiration for him and there's no doubt that he will get his players going sooner rather than later."

Brewster got the upper hand on Gough in the Scottish Cup final in 1994 with the winner for Dundee United against Rangers but he admitted that hardly balanced up the scores.

"I had a few over him, more notably the cup final when we won 1-0," he recalled. "But he has more winners over me."

Brewster's late goal at Dens Park last week could not prevent his team slumping to a 3-1 defeat but he believes that his players are not doing too much wrong on the field.

"We just didn't put the ball in the back of the net but the stats will tell you that they won." said the veteran.

"It is always disappointing to lose but it's more disappointing when you stop creating chances.

"We're still creating things in front of goal and it's a matter of time before we capitalise on them."

Brewster will not make sweeping changes for the game despite their defeat to Dundee.

The player-boss has no injury or suspension worries and that means that he might name an unchanged team.

Steve Hislop, who has been out for most of the season with an ankle injury, has started light jogging with the rest of the squad but is not yet ready for a return.

Livingston manager Richard Gough will be without two players for the game at Almondvale.

Defenders David McNamee and Oscar Rubio will be forced to watch the game from the stands as they both serve suspensions.

Gough has no new injuries and is expected to name the same squad which was beaten by Hibs last week.

Colin McMenamin is still recovering from a hairline fracture to his ankle.

History of the Livingston v Inverness Caledonian Thistle fixture

Livingston prepare to entertain Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Almondvale Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and hold the advantage on previous meetings between the two. Of the 11 games played, Livi have recorded 5 wins, and Inverness CT have come away with 2 victories.

The most recent encounter between these two sides at Almondvale Stadium was earlier this season, with Livingston running out comfortable 3-0 winners in a Scottish Premier match.

For a detailed analysis of the head-to-head between the two sides, click here

Recent encounters between the teams:
2004/2005Sat 30 OctInverness CT2 - 0LivingstonSPL
2004/2005Sat 07 AugLivingston3-0Inverness CTSPL
2000/2001Sat 28 AprInverness CT2 - 3LivingstonSCD1
2000/2001Tue 03 AprLivingston4 - 1Inverness CTSCD1
2000/2001Sat 21 OctInverness CT2 - 2LivingstonSCD1
2000/2001Sat 12 AugLivingston3 - 1Inverness CTSCD1
1999/2000Sat 18 MarInverness CT4 - 1LivingstonSCD1

Recent respective form guides

Livingston's home form is poor, winning just 2 of the last six, and losing the other 4. While Livi have scored 4, a worringly large 14 have been leaked at the other end.

Inverness CT's away form is none too clever either, seeing them win just 1 and draw 2 of the last six. While the Caley Thistle have hit 5 goals, 10 have hit the back of the wrong net.

Livingston find themselves stuck right at the bottom of the division. Their 21 games have yielded only 16 points. Inverness CT see themselves just below half way in the Bank of Scotland Scottish Premier, showing a record of 19 points from their 22 games played so far,

For a detailed analysis of team form guides throughout the leagues, click here

Current form guides:PWDLFAP
Inverness CT6222578 prediction - 3-1 to Livi

Sequence statistics:
Livingston12 games since last home draw.
Not drawn a match in their last 3 .
Inverness CTNot won in previous 2 away matches.
Last drawn game 4 outings ago.