‘Ca­ley have over­turned a huge gap be­fore - we can do the same again’

Evening Times - - SPORT - Alas­dair Fraser

AARON DO­RAN in­sists Ca­ley This­tle only have to turn to the his­tory books for proof they can close a 10-point gap on Cham­pi­onship lead­ers Dundee United.

In John Robert­son’s first spell in charge, the High­landers looked dead and buried be­fore storm­ing back through a 10-game un­beaten run to pip Clyde on the fi­nal day of 2003/04. Then, six years later, Terry Butcher’s rel­e­gated team bounced back to over­turn a 15-point chasm on Dundee to seal an im­me­di­ate top-flight re­turn with two games to spare.

Do­ran, who ar­rived at the club the fol­low­ing year on loan from Black­burn Rovers, in­sists talk of

United sail­ing into the Pre­mier­ship sun­set is pre­ma­ture.

The 28 year-old Ir­ish­man, fresh from net­ting a vi­tal win­ner against Dundee in Sat­ur­day’s re­vi­tal­is­ing vic­tory, said: “I think the last time the club got pro­moted they were a good few points be­hind Dundee.

“I’m told it was sim­i­lar in the gaf­fer’s first spell here when they reached the SPL for the first time.

“They went on a big win­ning run in both those cam­paigns and we can do it, too – we just need to get our heads down and train well, like we have been.

“We could have scored a few more out there against Dundee, but it is just good to get the win on the board and we look for­ward to next week now.

“I know it will be tough. Dundee United are a big club and they’ve spent some money.

“But if we play our stuff and ev­ery player puts in per­for­mances like we did to­day, it will be a lot closer than it is now.”

Do­ran ad­mits the play­ers were stung by re­cent crit­i­cisms and de­ter­mined to prove their met­tle af­ter los­ing three and draw­ing one of their pre­vi­ous five league matches.

He said: “The past few re­sults in the league weren’t good enough, so to come away with a re­sult like that is bril­liant for the team and for the club.

“It was great de­fend­ing from the lads. You saw some last-ditch tack­les from guys like Coll Don­ald­son and a tremen­dous clear­ance off the line by Carl Tre­marco.

“Other than that, I don’t think they broke us down too much. Our goal­keeper Mark Ridgers didn’t have too much to do.

“We con­trolled the game. It was a good day for us.”

Do­ran’s 16th-minute win­ning goal was a cracker from the tight­est of an­gles af­ter a cross ball from David Car­son, who Do­ran cred­ited for a huge part in the win­ning dis­play.

He added: “I re­mem­ber the ball com­ing across and I knew I had to put it back across the goal­keeper, there was nowhere else to put it.

“Luck­ily it has gone in the top corner, just inside the post.

“I should have had an­other one in the sec­ond half really, so that’s a bit dis­ap­point­ing, but it is good to get the win­ner.

“To get two clean sheets in a row now, it bodes well for us. We can kick on next week.

“We want to be in the mix come the end of the sea­son. We know Dundee United have pulled away a bit, but there are a lot of games to go.”

Dens boss James McPake, stung be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break by a home de­feat to lead­ers United, ad­mit­ted: “You can’t pa­per over it. We’re miles be­hind where we want to be. It is in plain sight for ev­ery­body to see.

“I spoke about it last week, but I didn’t see it pre-empt­ing this. We need to get our­selves in or­der.

“It doesn’t mat­ter what hap­pens else­where be­cause if we can’t come to places and find a way to win games of foot­ball then it gen­uinely is ir­rel­e­vant what’s go­ing on else­where.”

We know Dundee United have pulled away a bit, but there are a lot of games to go

Aaron Do­ran scores the win­ning goal against Dundee, inset

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