Caley Thistle manager John Robertson believes his Ross County counterparts Stuart Kettlewell and Steven Ferguson deserve plaudits for sustaining the Staggies’ Championship title challenge.
County are a point clear at the top of the table at the halfway stage of the campaign, ahead of today’s Highland derby encounter at Victoria Park.
Although the Staggies have one of the highest playing budgets in the league, Robertson insists money is no guarantee of success but he feels County’s co-managers Kettlewell and Ferguson have allocated their resources wisely.
Robertson, who inherited an Inverness side fresh from relegation in 2017, said: “They obviously had the disappointment of going down, but they have bounced back superbly. This league is not easy.
“They have kept most of their players and added some real quality. It has been well mentioned they have got a good, healthy budget but it’s OK having it, you have still got to manage it properly.
“I think that’s where Stuart and Steven should be hugely applauded. I’ve got massive respect for them, because you have to bring in those quality players and manage them, as well as having those expectations of getting back up to the top of the league.
“They have done that, and they will want to finish the year top of the table. I’m sure that will be their short term goal.”
Inverness go into today’s derby on the back of just one league defeat from 17 matches this term, however Robertson has been left frustrated by the 11 draws racked up by his side.
Skipper Carl Tremarco is back in contention following a thigh injury, however attacker Daniel MacKay is unlikely to be fit despite returning to training following a knee injury.
Robertson hopes last weekend’s 2-1 victory away to Morton can be the springboard for more victories, adding: “The fact we have only lost one game has been tempered by the fact we have drawn 11.
“You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to know we would have been better off winning six of those games, and losing the rest.
“The players are still proud of the fact they don’t get beaten easily. They know they are a hard team to beat.
“What they need to do now is try and take that aspect of it, and add a wee bit more clinical stuff at the other end.
“Against Morton on Saturday we could have scored more than six goals relatively straightforwardly with the chances we created.
“If we can find that killer instinct at that end of the pitch, I think we will be a handful.”