JIMDUFFYTHE FOOTBALL INSIDER
By KENNY MILLAR
THE ‘f’ word Inverness
Caley Thistle boss John
Hughes uses most isn’t
one tha...
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Inverness Caley Thistle "Growth Mindset"

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Inverness Caley Thistle "Growth Mindset"

  1. 1. JIMDUFFYTHE FOOTBALL INSIDER By KENNY MILLAR THE ‘f’ word Inverness Caley Thistle boss John Hughes uses most isn’t one that gets him into trouble with referees. Yogi — gearing up for tonight’s tie with Hibs ahead of Sunday’s League Cup Final against Aberdeen — has been ribbed for repeatedly referring to ‘the fundamentals’. But respected perfor- mance coach Donald McNaughton — who has worked extensively with the SFA, Caley and Hughes amongst others — says his approach is spot on. McNaughton, author of new book Talent Unlimited, said: “Inverness, for me, sum up what is called a ‘growth mindset’. “It’s about being open and your approach to a challenge. Any reward isn’t achieved because someone is naturally gifted or because they have a right to it. Genius “It’s because an athlete or team has identified skills, put the effort in to learn how to develop them and applied it. “Since they were formed the club has continually moved forward. It’s never been about one individual and there’s been no room for egos. That dressing room’s always been tight. “So Yogi is quite right to talk about the funda- mentals because when you’re successful you can’t afford to attribute it to genius. It’s come as a result of hard work. “At the same time — and they’ll appreciate this after two defeats — it’s not personal when things don’t go so well. “They haven’t become a bad team overnight. They’ve just stopped addressing one of the fundamentals. “I think they’re a great fit with Yogi because he made the most of himself as a player and is doing the same as a manager. They’ll bring the best out of each other. “In my book I talk about taking talent, turning it into skills and taking opportunities when they appear — like the League Cup Final. “It’s about mining the diamonds under the soles of your shoes, finding your inspiration, dealing with disappointments and hav- ing the mindset to bounce back and put the work in. “Inverness Caley Thistle epitomise all that.” Q Talent Unlimited, by Donald McNaughton, is out now on Amazon. Yogi right to use the F word at Inverness DUNCAN SHEARER played a key role when Aberdeen last won the League Cup 19 years ago. Now Big Dunc could do his bit to STOP the Dons from putting an end to their winless run. Like many I have Derek McInnes’ side as massive favourites to win Sunday’s game at Parkhead. I watched them knock Celtic out of the Scottish Cup there a few weeks ago. And I just think they are strong in every area of the pitch. They have an experienced back- line in Jamie Langfield, Russell Anderson and Mark Reynolds. They have quality in the middle of the park with Willo Flood and Barry Robson. They also have pace to burn with Niall McGinn, Peter Pawlett and Jonny Hayes. Up top Adam Rooney has already shown he can take chances when they come along. And if that’s not enough they are also going to have 40,000 supporters cheering on their every move. Now that can spook a team. We saw it when Hibs played Livingston back in 2003. They had a huge support through with them but their young side froze on the day. And Livi were able to relax and eventually ran out comfortable 2-0 winners. But I don’t see Aberdeen freezing. They’re too experienced. Their players all know how big a thing it would be for the club to lift a trophy after so long. If Inverness try to go toe-to-toe with Aberdeen I think the Dons will be too strong for them. They’ll be taking on McInnes’ side in their strongest area. Direct They dominated Celtic there that day at Parkhead — and Celtic have better players than Caley. So John Hughes needs to ditch his football playing principles in favour of a more direct style. And that’s where big Dunc, now on the Thistle coaching staff, comes in. I played for Dundee in that final at Hampden back in 1995. If I remember right Shearer was not even supposed to be playing. But at the last minute he got the nod to play alongside Billy Dodds up front. And that was bad news for myself and Roddy Manley at the back. Big Duncan made a nuisance of himself and got in our faces from the first whistle. Wee Doddsy was sharp enough to pick up all the scraps. And they both got on the scoresheet as Aberdeen ran out 2-0 winners. Now, 19 years on, big Yogi needs to find someone to do what Duncan did that day. And I think the perfect man for the role is Richie Foran. Billy McKay has been left isolated since Yogi’s arrival at Inverness. He needs support to be at his best and they haven’t been quick to give it to him. And that needs to change on Sun- day if Caley are to have any chance. Throughout his managerial career Yogi has asked his sides to get the ball down and play. If he does that this weekend he’ll be playing right into Aberdeen’s hands. But if he puts Richie up with McKay off him it will give the Dons something to think about. Foran will still be able to drop back and help his mid- field out when they need him. Thistle also have to defend much better than they have done in recent weeks. Some of the goals they lost against Dundee United last weekend were shockers. And with Rooney in the form he is in, Aberdeen will take advantage of that. Yogi’s players must remember they deserve to be in this final just as much as Aberdeen. They performed heroics to see off Hearts with just nine men in the semi-final. Achievement Reaching their first ever national final is a fantastic achievement. But they don’t want to stop there. For those players it will only be a fantastic achievement if they go on and win the trophy. And if anything Yogi might use the massive Dons support as a moti- vating tool. He’ll tell his side everyone is against them. He might also mention all the pundits who have tipped their oppo- nents to win. That’s all very well — but it won’t be enough unless they have a plan to get in about them. And I just have a feeling that Aberdeen will be too strong for Inverness on the day. CALEY CAN STRIKE IT RICH SLAM DUNC . . . Foran can help pal McKay, far left, just like Shearer did with Dodds, above MINDSET . . . Don 8 Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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