George Oakley believes the attacking expertise of Caley Thistle manager John Robertson has helped him to find his feet in Scottish football.
Forward Oakley failed to hit the ground running when he joined Inverness from AFC Wimbledon in the summer, as he struggled to force his way into the starting line-up.
Oakley has made the striking position his own since the turn of the year however, with a flurry of goals in recent weeks bringing his tally up to seven for the season to make him joint leading scorer.
The Englishman feels he has been able to develop under the tutelage of former striker Robertson, who remains Hearts’ all-time leading goalscorer.
Oakley said: “The game is different from in England. He has seen a lot in me, but I think I try too hard sometimes and he tells me to relax and stay still. He’s taught me I don’t have to use so much energy to do a lot of the running.
“He wants me to stay down the middle because, at the end of the day, that’s where I’ll get my goals. It is just simple little things I take from him every day.
“The knowledge he offers adds to your game. It would never change who you are as a player, but he gives you those little bits here and there to think about.
“It is valuable. You learn a lot from different coaches and different players.”
Oakley is keen to take as much as he can on board from Robertson, who won 16 Scotland caps, along with assistant Brian Rice, and the 22-year-old added: “I didn’t really know who John Robertson was before I came here. When I had the phone call from him, I asked my dad and knows him because he is obviously older and he started telling me. I had a little search online and I saw it all.
“Obviously, he is a legend down at Hearts and achieved a great deal in his career. And then you hear some stories – mainly because he starts telling them.
“It’s nice to know what the coaching staff have been through. It’s the same with Brian Rice. You hear about him at Nottingham Forest, playing under one of the greatest managers there has been in Brian Clough.
“As a young footballer, hearing all these things, you just draw on the advice and the knowledge because they have been there and done it.”