Published: 03/01/2013 02:00 - Updated: 03/01/2013 02:00

Doran - let's stick together at ICT

AARON Doran is urging Caley Thistle to do all it can to retain their incredible Clydesdale Bank SPL high-flying stars

Following the midweek postponed Highland derby at Ross County, the Inverness side can now enjoy their break before returning to action on January 19 at home to Aberdeen.

Incredibly, Saturday's goalless draw in Perth was the first time Terry Butcher's side had failed find the net in ANY game this season.

Ahead of the other midweek fixtures yesterday (Wednesday), ICT were placed in second spot, a mere six points behind leaders and champions Celtic.

And Dubliner Doran (21), who made his move permanent from Blackburn Rovers two years ago, hopes that Scotland midfielder Andrew Shinnie becomes the latest ICT star to pledge his future to the club.

Nick Ross, Graeme Shinnie and Josh Meekings have all signed two-year extensions and Doran urges all players offered deals in Inverness to continue their careers in the north.

Doran, who hopes to win a fresh deal before it expires at the end of the season, said: "It was great news for us last week to sign up Josh Meekings and Graeme Shinnie. Both are two terrific prospects for the club and I am sure they can improve further. Nick Ross has come back too now, which is great news. He also has another two years. He doesn't need to worry and can concentrate on playing well for the team.

"Hopefully Andrew Shinnie will sign a new contract as well. He's a big player for us. You just have to look to his performance against St Mirren last week. He scored a great goal and he links up play very well with Billy McKay. Both these players are crucial to the team and if we can keep both players here that would be a major boost."

He added: "While the performances and results keep coming, clubs will obviously take an interest in us, but we want to keep this team together for as long as possible. There are a number of younger players at the club and this is a wonderful place to stay and progress your career."

With 34 points on the board before yesterday's clash with Ross County, the Republic of Ireland ace explained that, while his bosses seem to have mellowed their no slip in what's required of the players.

He said: "The manager and Maurice (Malpas, assistant) are much more relaxed this season. You don't see them out as much, screaming their heads off on the touchline, but they still want to keep their standards high, they want to win every game. We need to keep our good run going."

Doran is loving having a consistent, injury-free run in the team this year and feels that finally opinions are changing about the team's style of play.

He stressed: "We've had a brilliant season so far and you never know what's going to happen next. We have been brilliant in attack and with Owain (Tudur Jones) and Ross (Draper) in midfield we know we are secure.

"At the start of the season and winning games, people were saying that our run would stop sooner or later, but we've carried it on right through until the end of the year. We're now getting the credit we deserve.

"People have said over the years that coming to play us in Inverness is always tough because it's physical, but we have changed this season. While we can play like that, we also have shown we can get the ball down and play good football. Whether we play home or away, teams know it's always a tough test for them."

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