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Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Saturday, 23 May 2009 17:03 UK

Butcher sets sights on SPL return

Inverness manager Terry Butcher
Terry Butcher said Inverness would lick their wounds and return to the SPL

Inverness manager Terry Butcher says he will now plan the club's return to the Scottish Premier League after defeat against Falkirk saw them relegated.

"To lose in the manner we did in the last game is hard to take," an emotional Butcher told BBC Scotland.

"Although it's hard to look beyond this afternoon, the work starts now in bouncing back next year.

"I feel so sorry for the fans, players and everyone at the club because they've given everything today."

Inverness needed just a point from their home match, given they started with a two-point advantage over bottom-placed Falkirk.

They stared well, but were reduced to 10 men in the first half when Ross Tokely was sent off for a foul on Steve Lovell.

Michael Higdon scored the only goal of the game to consign Inverness to Division One, and save Falkirk's SPL status.

Butcher felt the dismissal of his defender was a key moment in the game.

"We were the better team and had two good chances in the first 10 minutes," said the Scotland assistant coach.

We're debt free and the board are determined to back us and get us back up

Inverness boss Terry Butcher

"Everything was going according to plan and then all of a sudden the red card comes out of nothing.

"I've only seen it once but I thought there was doubt about it being a clear goalscoring opportunity.

"It was very difficult then - we had to reshape and regroup.

"It's the third time in three games against Falkirk we've been down to 10 men."

However, with the disappointment evident and at times coming close to tears, the former England captain still found time to praise his players.

"We have shot ourselves in the foot when it comes to scoring goals, but these players have been absolutely unbelievable for me, Maurice Malpas and the club," said Butcher.

"What we gave everybody was hope, even at 1-0 down, with 10 men on the the last game, there was still hope, and the players and fans gave it everything.

"And that's what's so hard to take."

Butcher says his thoughts will soon turn to taking the club back into the top flight, and he believes he will be given financial backing in his quest.

"On Sunday and Monday we'll start talking to players and preparing for life in the First Division because we want to bounce back," he resolved.

"I had a good chat with the board - we get £250,000 as a parachute payment - we're debt-free and the board are determined to back us and get us back up.

"There's still money there and there's players we want to sign for next season so we can rebuild and restructure to get promoted again.

"I just feel absolutely gutted for everyone connected to the club. They really got behind the team without any negativity."

Butcher added: "There have been a few tears because it means so much to people and everyone has given so much."

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see also
Butcher devastated by relegation
23 May 09 |  Scotland
Inverness CT 0-1 Falkirk
23 May 09 |  Scottish Premier
SPL as it happened
23 May 09 |  Scottish Premier

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