Caley Thistle defender Brad Mckay says reaching a century of appearances with Inverness marks a vast turnaround in his career from the lows of his spell with St Johnstone.
Mckay played his 100th competitive game for Caley Jags in Saturday’s 4-0 Scottish Cup fourth round victory over East Kilbride, which helped Inverness secure a last-16 tie away to Highland rivals Ross County next month.
The 25-year-old’s milestone comes less than two-and-a-half years since Richie Foran signed him from Saints in August 2016 having made just six appearances during his 12-month stint in Perth, during which he also spent time on loan with Dunfermline.
Mckay insists he has rediscovered his love of football at Caledonian Stadium.
He said: “To get 100 appearances is a big turn – I’m thankful to both managers I’ve played under here.
“It was a proud moment, given where I was in my career at St Johnstone at one point. I was in the depths of hell, I was getting taken to Ross County away and sitting in the stands. Sometimes I was not even making the squads.
“You are never sure – sometimes it feels right at a club and sometimes it does not. At St Johnstone it felt right for me, but it never worked out.
“I went on loan to Dunfermline and it felt good there, I played there. I came here knowing not to take anything for granted but for me to make 100 appearances at any club is fantastic for me. I came to get away from everything I know back in Edinburgh and start loving football again. That’s exactly what I have done here.”
Despite suffering relegation from the Premiership at the end of his first season with Inverness, Mckay feels current Caley Jags boss John Robertson – who previously held a coaching and ambassadorial role with Hearts when the defender was at Tynecastle – has restored the feel-good factor at Inverness.
Mckay added: “When we were toiling in the top league, we had a good enough team to stay up. We 100% should have. Things happened in and around the club, the chairman changed and there was a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes which the players didn’t appreciate and know about.
“There has been a lot of change but I was at Hearts when when the club went into administration when I was younger, so change is not alien to me.
“The manager has come in and he’s been fantastic.He has shown faith in me, so every time I go out there I try to do the same for him.
“In two-and-a-half years we have set two club records and won a trophy, which is not too bad.”