Louis Laing hopes Caley Thistle will benefit from a loan spell at Notts County which he believes has rescued his career.
Defender Laing agreed a short-term contract with Caley Jags earlier this week, and could make his debut in today’s Premiership match against Hearts at Tynecastle.
The 23-year-old had been a free agent since the end of last month after leaving Premiership rivals Motherwell, who farmed him out to the Magpies for the first half of the season.
Laing grew frustrated by his lack of opportunities under Motherwell manager Mark McGhee but feels his loan spell in League Two has got him back in his stride.
Laing said: “It was hit and miss at Motherwell. When I first signed there on loan a couple of years ago it was good. But then Ian Baraclough got sacked and the new manager came in.
“I was in and out of the team and had a couple of injuries here and there, so I wouldn’t class it as a success.
“I spent the first half of this season on loan at Notts County and played a lot of games there. I feel like I’m on the up.
“The main thing for me is just playing games. I played 27 games at Notts County this season, so that’s a pretty good run for me having been out of teams in the past with injuries.
“I need to stamp my authority on the team here and keep my place because I know there are a few good centre halves to provide competition.
“I’ve got to be on top of my game, but that can only help bring the best out of me. I’m excited.
“Not playing matches, it isn’t enjoyable. I want to be on the pitch, not on the bench or in the stand.
“But going to Notts County was revitalising. I’m fully relishing the challenge of being here now. I’m ready.”
Captain Gary Warren and Brad McKay are suspended, while Josh Meekings, Kevin McNaughton and Lewis Horner are sidelined through injury, and Laing says he is ready to step in if called on by manager Richie Foran.
The Englishman added: “I’m ready to slip straight in. I’ve only been a free agent for two weeks now and I’ve been keeping right on top of my fitness, pretty much training every day.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve lost any sort of match fitness, so I’m ready. I know Iain Vigurs who was at Motherwell with me, but didn’t really know what to expect coming up here. I was excited about it.
“Coming in to training, I’m really positive about it. I think I can come in and strengthen the back four.”