Caley Thistle are still trying to bolster their paper-thin squad with an emergency loan signing but are being continually hampered by the club’s location.
Manager John Robertson said yesterday it was becoming increasingly difficult to strike a deal as the season goes on, and geography has been a big part of the struggle.
Some managers have been apparently reluctant to send their players so far away from home when they can keep a better eye on them if they move to a central belt club.
Robertson said: “We’re still trying. We got close with one player in particular and, at the last moment, the club in question got an injury.
“For another couple of players, the managers are humming and hawing.
“We’re slightly handicapped because of our location. There are teams down south who will happily let their players go to another Glasgow, Edinburgh or Dundee club.
“We have to try to persuade a club to let us take a lad up here and put them into accommodation.
“Sometimes they feel this is the back of beyond, which is not the case.”
The recent spell of bad weather has meant that Caley Thistle have only played two matches since January 30 and now face a fixture pile-up, with 12 league matches and an Irn Bru Cup final against Dumbarton to fit in over the next seven weeks.
With only 16 fit outfield players at the club, the packed schedule could be tough on the legs but Robertson believes it can present his club with the chance to build some real momentum.
The difficult run-in begins with a crucial trio of away fixtures against fellow playoff hopefuls Livingston, Dunfermline and Dundee Utd, all in the space of a week.
Robertson said: “Will our squad cope? Possibly if we don’t get any injuries, that’s why we’ve looked at potential loans.
“You roll up the sleeves and get on with it regardless but the next three matches are certainly all tough.
“The flip side is if we can come away with a decent haul of points then six of our last nine games are at home.
“There is an advantage there in the run-in we can use. The big booster for us would be to take points over the three matches before the cup final and then really settle in for a run of matches where we won’t be travelling far.”
Nathan Austin and Coll Donaldson are injured for Caley Thistle’s match at Livingston tomorrow although both have returned to training.