Mark Ridgers feels his move to Caley Thistle from today’s opponents Partick Thistle has brought about one of the most productive spells of his career.
Inverness-born Ridgers joined his hometown club after leaving the Jags last summer, where he made just two appearances in a six-month spell.
Despite a slow start to his Caley Jags career, Ridgers has gone on to thrive with John Robertson’s men, and contributed to the Highlanders’ club record tally of seven clean sheets last season.
Reflecting on his progress, Ridgers said: “That’s 50 appearances I’ve made for the club now – the longest I’ve ever played in one team.
“That’s there now and the confidence is back. I’m feeling good about myself and feeling like I was a couple of years ago.
“In terms of clean sheets and performances, coming from the middle of last season into this one, I’d have to say it’s up there.
“It is 24 clean sheets in 50-odd games, which isn’t a bad record when you look at it. I’m happy with that.
“But the team, most importantly, is performing well and we know what is expected of us.
“The players this season know what it is all about and that is massive. The sooner you get that awareness of what you’re up against and what you want to achieve as a team, the more chance you have of succeeding.
“It seems like that’s what we have now.”
Partick’s relegation from the Premiership came just a year after manager Alan Archibald steered them to their first Premiership top-six finish.
Although Ridgers was unable to dislodge Tomas Cerny, who is now at Aberdeen, the 28-year-old was surprised by the haste of his former club’s demise, adding: “It was really strange because when I joined them in January they were second bottom or bottom. I thought I might get a wee opportunity because of the way results were going.
“But from that period they just seemed to click and they went unbeaten for a very long spell. To finish in the top six, the way they did was amazing, considering where they’d been in January.
“But it is the second season kind of syndrome where the pressure of expectation is on them to achieve even more.
“The way it went last year for them was crazy because they had kept the majority of players from the season before. It was very strange to see them get relegated.
“I follow social media and after the result they had when East Fife beat them, I saw fans saying the manager should go. That just goes to show you.
“When they got relegated, Alan Archibald took on the task of rebuilding but straight away the fans turn against him. He has a legacy at the club, playing and managing them to the highest league finishes.
“It just goes to show what football is about. It’s a results-driven business.”