Austin can get Caley Thistle motoring up front

Nathan Austin

Nathan Austin will bring a clinical touch to Caley Thistle as manager John Robertson strives to squeeze more goals out of his team.

Upon bringing the former Falkirk striker to the Highland capital on an 18-month deal, Robertson believes Austin’s track record shows he can have an impact in the Championship.

He watched on as Inverness’ front three of Jake Mulraney, Connor Bell and John Baird missed chances in the 3-2 win against Brechin City at the weekend, with another striker, George Oakley, proving the saviour as he leapt from the bench to score twice.

The arrival of Austin will only increase the competition for places up front and Robertson hopes the 23-year-old can have a similar impact to the one Coll Donaldson has had.

Robertson said: “He’s a really good finisher and brings goals. He adds competition – we will create chances but we need to start taking them. The strikers need to be more clinical. Nathan believes he can score goals and reignite his career. He felt he’d stalled at Falkirk. He fits our wage structure for this season and next season. It suited both parties.

“It’s an exciting signing for us. We’ve done our diligence. He trains really hard and is a lovely lad. He’s in the same bracket as Coll Donaldson, where he’s maybe not kicked on to where he wanted to in his career.”

Austin could feature in today’s game against Livingston, with a win potentially enough to put Caley Thistle level on points with the play-off teams.

It will be a much-changed team from the one that featured at Glebe Park on Saturday, however, given the run of games coming up for Roberston’s side.

He said: “We’ll be making changes as we have five games in about 15 days. The guys on the bench showed they are ready. The plan was to play Aaron Doran for 20 minutes with a view to him starting on Tuesday, but we needed to shut it down at 3-2. We’re losing David Raven and Matty Elsdon and maybe one or two others. We need to replace that with the right quality and we believe Nathan Austin is that.

“We know going into the game it’s a massive one and if we win, we can go three points behind them. St Mirren are the only team we’ve not taken anything off. It’s about gathering as many points as we can so we’re in a position to strike in the final quarter.

“You saw against Brechin we’re as good as anyone on our day. ”

Oakley stakes claim at the double, Page 45