Butcher hails Caley away run

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Manager Terry Butcher lauded his Inverness side as they extended their unbeaten away run into another year with the 1-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League draw at Hearts.

Caley Thistle, unbeaten away from home since November 2009, went in front on their final road trip of the year through Grant Munro's 17th-minute header. Kevin Kyle equalised from the penalty spot after 25 minutes, but the hosts missed the chance to move level with Celtic in second place in the table.

Butcher said: "It's an incredible achievement for the players - 2010 undefeated (away from home). That's a year plus now in the league. It's a wonderful achievement and they're just a special group of players, they really are."

Caley Thistle drew at Celtic before a 1-1 draw with Rangers last weekend and consolidated their fourth-placed position with the point at Tynecastle ahead of the home games with St Mirren on Boxing Day and Kilmarnock on December 29.

The last time they lost on the road was at Partick Thistle en route to winning promotion last term and Butcher conceded his side were fortunate their record remained intact.

He added: "Hearts are a good side. They've got good quality players. (David) Templeton I thought was unbelievable. They put a lot of crosses into the box. I thought we had to defend really well, lots of questions asked about us, but great spirit in the team.

"They did batter us and you've got to hold your hand up and say we were hanging on at the end. But we hung on. It was a tough match but we came through unscathed."

With Celtic's match at Hamilton postponed, manager Jim Jefferies knew victory would take his Hearts side level in second place in the table, although the Bhoys now have two games in hand.

The Hearts boss said: "I thought the team were outstanding and did everything you could've asked of them apart from putting the ball in the net. It was just one of those days when it just wouldn't go in.

"As a manager you can't have any complaints about the way our team played - their attitude, will and determination to win the game. I thought it was one of our best home performances of the season and it just shows you when you're going as well as Inverness are away from home you have to get some luck on the way and they got loads of it."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Terry Butcher
Premier League
Kevin Kyle

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