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                                                    St Johnstone
                                                    0-0
                                                    Inverness CT

                                                    Clydesdale Bank Premier League , Apr 7, 2012
                                                    Ground: McDiarmid Park , Kickoff: 15:00 , Att 3,326

                                                    Team news

                                                    Wright absent for Saints St Johnstone will be without suspended defender Frazer Wright for their Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Inverness.

                                                    Boss Steve Lomas will give left-back Callum Davidson (hamstring) and midfielder Murray Davidson (knee) every opportunity to prove their fitness ahead of the visit of the Highlanders.

                                                    The manager has also yet to decide whether to include new signing Derek Riordan in the squad as the striker continues with his quest to improve his fitness.

                                                    Inverness manager Terry Butcher has urged his players to make him eat his words after his criticism of their late collapse against Hibernian.

                                                    Caley Thistle dominated for an hour against Hibs on Sunday but suffered their second successive home defeat when a late Leigh Griffiths goal sealed a 3-2 win for the visitors.

                                                    The defeat saw second-bottom Hibs move five points behind Inverness and added to Butcher's frustration over a season ruined by injuries, missed chances and the concession of soft goals.

                                                    Butcher hit out at his players over a "crazy 26 minutes" and wants them to put that right against St Johnstone, the team that inflicted their previous home loss.

                                                    "We are making chances and looking hungry but we have to stop that sloppiness and giving opponents easy goals," Butcher said.

                                                    "That sounds simple but what is required is concentration, work, spirit, togetherness and desire.

                                                    "You can label these things but you can't physically give them to players. It's in the players' minds.

                                                    "What they have to do is ram my words down my throat and say 'I can do this'.

                                                    "If they can do that I'll be the first to hold my hands up and say well done.

                                                    "I know if a manager of mine had said things like that to me, and they did because I have had a lot more criticism than I give to my players, I wanted to ram it right down his throat.

                                                    "That included people like Bobby Robson and Bobby Ferguson at Ipswich.

                                                    "I wanted to make them eat their words and be proud of me, that was my main aim as a player, that gave me more drive than anything else, and that's what I'm looking for from my players this weekend." Inverness winger Aaron Doran is in contention for a comeback.

                                                    The Irishman has only played two games since August after a hamstring injury stopped short his return from a dislocated shoulder but he scored in a midweek reserve game against Falkirk.

                                                    Goalkeeper Ryan Esson (groin), defender Chris Hogg (knee) and midfielder Andrew Shinnie (foot) remain out but the latter is running again and hopes to feature before the end of the season.

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                                                    St Johnstone vs Inverness CT

                                                    Last modified 17:52 07/04/12

                                                    Stalemate sees Saints on the rise St Johnstone moved up to fourth position in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League despite being held to a 0-0 draw by Inverness.

                                                    The visitors were the better team in the first half and Jonny Hayes hit a post after a mazy run.

                                                    But the Perth side picked up after the break and were unlucky not to win a penalty for Roman Golobart's barge on Fran Sandaza.

                                                    However, Dundee United's defeat at Aberdeen allowed the Saints to leapfrog them in the race for a European place.

                                                    St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas made one change to the side that lost 2-0 to Celtic last weekend.

                                                    Frazer Wright was suspended and Steven Anderson returned in central defence. There was still no place for new signing Derek Riordan in the squad.

                                                    Inverness manager Terry Butcher also made a solitary change following last Sunday's 3-2 home defeat to Hibernian.

                                                    Striker Gregory Tade dropped to the bench and Owain Tudur Jones came into the side.

                                                    St Johnstone were desperate for a win to stay in pursuit of Dundee United and Motherwell in the race for European football.

                                                    Caley Thistle are well clear of relegation trouble but Butcher was keen for a morale-boosting display ahead of the split.

                                                    Hayes scored a spectacular, if fortunate, effort against Hibs last weekend and almost repeated the trick in the opening minutes.

                                                    His cross was whipped in above Alan Mannus but landed on the top of the net as the Saints goalkeeper breathed a sigh of relief.

                                                    Hayes looked in the mood and was inches away from opening the scoring in 10 minutes.

                                                    He surged down the right wing, left three defenders trailing and curled a wonderful effort off the post.

                                                    Inverness were dominant and Richie Foran's long-range drive was saved superbly by Mannus. Josh Meekings also came close for the Highlanders.

                                                    St Johnstone finally settled and Golobart was booked for a foul on Cillian Sheridan.

                                                    Dave Mackay curled the resultant free-kick narrowly wide. Sandaza was also unlucky with a near-post flick.

                                                    Foran's powerful header was saved by Mannus as Inverness continued to cause problems.

                                                    However, Sandaza was starting to exert his influence and teed up Liam Craig for a low drive that flew wide.

                                                    St Johnstone suffered a setback when Lee Croft limped off with a hamstring injury after 35 minutes. Kevin Moon replaced him.

                                                    The home side looked more like themselves after the break and had a strong penalty claim turned down.

                                                    Sandaza was sent crashing to the ground by Golobart when trying to round Tuffey but referee Kevin Clancy waved play on.

                                                    Lomas could not hide his anger and was given a warning by the referee after taking his complaints too far.

                                                    Sandaza was also left shocked by the decision but could have made up for it when he met Sheridan's cutback - but his shot was weak.

                                                    St Johnstone continued to press and substitute Marcus Haber wasted a good chance after being sent free on the left.

                                                    Inverness enjoyed a rare attack and Richie Foran fell under Jody Morris' challenge, but there was no real contact.

                                                    Team Line-ups

                                                    St JohnstoneRating
                                                    Player rating out of ten Player name Substitution Did they score? Player's disciplinary record Rating
                                                    15 Alan Mannus
                                                    2 David MacKay
                                                    6 Steven Anderson
                                                    18 David McCracken
                                                    12 Alan Maybury
                                                    9 Lee Croft(sub 35)
                                                    7 Chris Millar
                                                    4 Jody Morris
                                                    10 Liam Craig
                                                    11 Cillian Sheridan(sub 72)
                                                    21 Francisco Sandaza
                                                    Substitutes
                                                    1 Peter Enckelman
                                                    14 Kevin Moon(sub 35)
                                                    20 Jamie Adams
                                                    22 Kudus Oyenuga
                                                    23 Marcus Haber(sub 72)
                                                    41 Christopher Kane
                                                    46 James Keatings
                                                    Inverness CTRating
                                                    Player rating out of ten Player name Did they score? Player's disciplinary record Substitution Rating
                                                    12 Jonny Tuffey
                                                    3 Ross Tokely(sub 77)
                                                    16 Roman Golobart
                                                    19 Graeme Shinnie
                                                    26 Josh Meekings
                                                    22 Kenny Gillet
                                                    7 Johnny Hayes(sub 83)
                                                    8 Greg Tansey
                                                    4 Owain Tudur Jones
                                                    21 Billy McKay(sub 83)
                                                    9 Richie Foran
                                                    Substitutes
                                                    43 Scott Mathieson
                                                    11 Nick Ross(sub 83)
                                                    14 David Proctor
                                                    15 Gregory Tade(sub 83)
                                                    17 Gavin Morrison
                                                    23 Aaron Doran
                                                    24 Steve Williams(sub 77)

                                                    Match stats

                                                    Team St Johnstone Inverness CT

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