Ridgers keen to repay fans
Keeper hails those who backed team on mammoth Dumfries trip
Some players are moved to tears by packed stadiums and vast swathes of supporters. Goalkeeper Mark Ridgers saw 39 hardy souls turn out in club colours at Dumfries on a freezing Tuesday night and knew Caley Thistle had to win.
Just why the Highlanders were asked to make the 466-mile round trip journey on a midweek scheduling was anyone’s guess.
But the players have grown used to clocking up vast distances in an unforgiving fixture list and made sure of the three points before arriving back home after 3am.
It was the fans Ridgers felt for, though, and the former Hearts and Orlando shot-stopper said: “It’s the commitment of the fans here that makes you even more determined you don’t want to let them down.
“We’re down at Dumfries on a Tuesday night – the longest journey possible in this league – and we’ve got 39 supporters there.
“Every player appreciated them being there and while they were small in number they made themselves heard.
“They helped us through it and we got a great result that puts us back on track.
“But it was a long, long day for everyone. We left at 12 in the afternoon on the day and got home after 3am the next day, so it’s one of those.
“Those kinds of trips certainly create a strong team spirit, although let me tell you we’ve got that anyway.
“But with that kind of journey the boys are playing quiz games on the bus and just trying to find things to do for the fourhour journey. Team spirit this season is very good and that’s massive. The players do a lot together, the families too.
“You can see that with results. We’re quick to bounce back after disappointments. We did it again on Tuesday after Saturday’s defeat at Morton.”
Caley Thistle crashed to a 4-1 away defeat to United in the first game of the league season, but quickly recovered to kick off a title challenge.
The potential points swing this weekend makes it all the more significant, but Ridgers stressed it was early days in the league race.
The 29-year-old from Inverness said: “Any game’s important to win. To beat a good Queen of the South side has set us up nicely for Saturday although no one’s getting carried away.
“It’s only 11 games in, but if we beat United then we give ourselves the chance to keep fighting for the title.
“The first game of the season defeat to United was a sore one, but from that we went on a good run.
“We just need to focus on ourselves.”
FAR FROM HOME: Inverness striker Nikolay Todorov scores to make it 2-0 during the league match against Queen of the South at Palmerston Park on Tuesday night