RICHIE Foran didn’t watch Celtic’s Champions League game with Barcelona in midweek. It would tell him nothing, the Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager reasoned, about how Brendan Rodgers’ team might play against his team in this afternoon’s Ladbrokes Premiership match. With Celtic chasing shadows for the majority of an exhausting 90 minutes in the Camp Nou, the Irishman might well have had a point. It is likely to be a different story in the Highlands.

“To be honest I didn’t see the game because I didn’t think I would learn anything from it,” he said. “Celtic against Barcelona are going to set up in a totally different way from how they might play against Inverness. I don’t think they’ll come up here and sit in. It was a heavy defeat for them which isn’t an ideal scenario for us either. I thought if they got a good performance and result over there they might then become a wee bit complacent when they play us. Now we’re up against wounded players who will be hurting and who will feel they’ve let themselves, their manager and their supporters down. So they’re going to be looking for a big reaction. That makes it an extremely difficult afternoon for us.”

Foran is still in the infancy of his managerial career having only been appointed in the summer, making the visit of the Scottish champions still a novel and exciting experience. He and Rodgers have never previously crossed paths despite their respective varied and wandering careers down south but the Irishman hopes they will get the chance to finally sit down for a chat come full time.

“At the start of the season you look out for when you’re playing Celtic, Rangers and Ross County,” he said. “There’s a bit more spice to those games. Supporters turn out in their droves and there’s usually a great atmosphere. So this is an exciting game to look forward to.

“Brendan taking over is not just a wonderful signing for Celtic but it also adds more credibility to Scottish football having a manager of his calibre in our league. We usually have a chat in the office after a game with the opposition manager and hopefully Brendan will pop in too for a beer or a glass of wine.”

If there were eyebrows raised at a novice manager being handed a four-year deal then Foran thinks it was a reflection on the fact that, after seven years in the city as a player, he is clearly not of a mind to move anywhere soon. With his family settled, he hopes the length of contract will allow him the chance to gradually mould and shape his squad as he sees fit.

“The board knew when they were speaking to me that I’m dedicated not only to the club but the city as well. I’ve no interest in leaving Inverness. My ambition is to hopefully become the club’s longest serving manager. I’m not looking to get away and I’m here for the long haul. The roots are well in place now.”