Meekings optimistic of being fit for Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s cup semi-final

Josh Meekings in action for Inverness Caledonian Thistle against Celtic last season
Josh Meekings in action for Inverness Caledonian Thistle against Celtic last season

Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s Josh Meekings is optimistic he can recover from injury in time to play in their cup semi-final on Sunday.

So far this season, the 21-year-old centre-half, who hails from Cavendish and went to school at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill, has been an ever present for the Scottish Premier League side.

However, a clash of heads with Kilmarnock’s Robbie Muirhead during Caley Thistle’s 2-0 league reverse on Saturday left Meekings with stitches in a cut under his right eyebrow – putting his involvement in their League Cup semi-final against Hearts on Sunday in doubt.

Speaking on Monday, Meekings said: “I’ve got to wait for the stitches to come out on Thursday.

“The main issue then is whether I can see and If I’m all right I will play on Sunday, so it’s just fingers crossed.

“It just depends on how the swelling goes down and how the eye recovers.

“Obviously I’m trying to recover as quickly as possible because I’ve not missed a game this season and I want to carry that on.

“I’m obviously wanting to play, but it just depends on this — I’m sure with the right treatment I will be all right.”

Sunday’s match is a repeat of last season’s semi-final, when Inverness lost a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.

Meekings knows lessons have been learned from that painful experience, all of which can help Caley Thistle gain revenge and finally reach what would be their – and his – first ever major cup final.

He added: “Hopefully we will take from that experience and put it right.

“It would be a big achievement for the whole club, for the fans and for everyone around it.

“We want to do everything we can to get to the final. We know it’s going to be a tough game. It’s a one-off game, no matter where Hearts are in the league.”

The season so far has, said Meekings, been a successful one for Inverness, who are also fourth in the SPL table and through to the Scottish Cup fifth round.

The departure to Hibernian of manager Terry Butcher, who signed him after his release by Ipswich Town, has seen changes at the club, but Meekings said the team is now getting used to the expectations of new boss John Hughes.

He said: “When he went it was a big shock to everybody and I suppose everyone was a bit disappointed, but that’s football isn’t it.

“It was a learning curve to me. It has not happened to me before, but the new manager has come in and he’s trying to bring in new ideas to the club.

“Everyone is chipping away at it and we are hoping to have a strong finish to the season.

“I’m very happy. We are still having a very good season.

“We are aiming for a top-six finish and we are certainly in that spot.

“It’s going well, it’s just up to us to now to get over that finish line and we can build from there and try to climb as many places up the rungs as we can.”