Caley Thistle manager John Robertson has laid down the challenge to his substitutes to stand up and prove their point.
He challenged George Oakley to make his mark after the striker was disappointed at being on the bench against Betfred League Cup opponents Cowdenbeath on Tuesday – with the striker responding with a goal in the 5-2 win after he came on with 25 minutes left.
The depth of the squad is improving with the addition of experienced midfielder Sean Welsh – and Tom Walsh’s performance, after a brief cameo against Cove Rangers, will give Robertson heart. Walsh struck twice against the Blue Brazil, as did Aaron Doran.
Competition for places is something every manager craves and Robertson feels he has that across the park.
He said: “We’ve said to the subs to prove us wrong. George Oakley felt aggrieved at being left out but went on and got his goal. That’s what we want. We’ve now got competition and feel we’ve got a solid squad.
“Tom Walsh and Jordan White made a difference on Saturday and George and Charlie Trafford did the same on Tuesday. We don’t want anyone thinking their place is nailed on.
“We were always going to freshen it up with two games back-to-back. Walsh has got that bit of quality. You don’t become Rangers’ second-youngest player if you don’t. He showed it last year and he’s already shown it here.
“Sean is a really experienced midfield player. We need another who can dig in – we’ve now got four who can be combative in the middle of the park. He can pass it but get in and about people. It’s also about experience as we’ve still got a young squad.”
Tuesday’s win came despite a poor surface at Central Park, with Cowdenbeath officials apologising to Robertson over the state of the pitch.
Thankfully for the visiting boss, his players escaped without injury and delivered a performance that sees them top Group C heading into the weekend.
Robertson said: “We were warned about the pitch by Dundee – it was rutted and there’s potholes all over it. It’s a shocking surface. But both teams made it a good game. When you’ve got the Cowdenbeath manager and officials apologising for the state of the park – it was a danger to the players.”