Butcher: I didn't see this coming
Inverness manager Terry Butcher admits he had no idea his side would be challenging at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this season - because he had not seen half of his signings play.
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Caley defeated fellow high-fliers Aberdeen 3-2 on Tuesday night to go level on points with leaders Celtic, who have two games in hand.
Billy McKay had given Butcher's side the lead 10 minutes before half-time, only for goals either side of the interval from Josh Magennis to put Aberdeen in the driving seat.
Butcher's boys roared back, though, equalising through Gary Warren's header, before McKay sealed the points late on.
Butcher lost a number of star men in the summer and had to piece together a new-look side on a reduced budget.
Reflecting on their achievements so far, he said: "Someone said to me 'it's nice to be joint-top' and I had to ask them to repeat it. Wow...we've come a long way this season.
"I didn't expect it. You obviously think you could do this or that, but I didn't know what these players could do. I'd never seen half of them before I bought them, in fact more than half!
"You bring them in and then you think 'Thank God he's a good player'!"
After a shaky start, his side have now lost just one of their last 13 games, and have beaten the teams in first and second place away from home over the past few days.
"You get a feel for the group," he continued. "We got back into training really early, and even at the start of the season, there was still enough quality to take more points than we did. They're just an incredible bunch of players."
Butcher had to bring his players back down from the high of winning away to Celtic on Saturday, and now faces a similar task before his side face a local derby against Ross County at the weekend in the fourth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.
"The players have a couple of days off which is nice. We'll approach the Ross County game on Friday," he said.