Robertson hoping to bring midfield pair back into action

Picture by SANDY McCOOK    20th June '19
New Caley signing, James Vincent photographed in Inverness yesterday afternoon.
Picture by SANDY McCOOK 20th June '19 New Caley signing, James Vincent photographed in Inverness yesterday afternoon.

Caley Thistle manager John Robertson is hopeful midfielders James Vincent and Sean Welsh will be back in contention to feature next week.

Neither player has played in any of Inverness’ pre-season fixtures so far, with Englishman Vincent nursing a calf injury while Welsh is recovering from a broken metatarsal he suffered last season.

Although Robertson is keen to introduce both players into his side the Caley Jags boss insists he will not rush them back, with Inverness stepping up their pre-season preparations with a fixture against Aberdeen at Borough Briggs in Elgin tomorrow.

Robertson said: “James just felt his calf towards the end of last week. At this stage of the season we don’t want to take any chances – there is no point in doing that.

“He has been working in the gym and with the physios. We are hopeful he should be back in full training by the end of the week, and we can look forward to maybe getting him involved in some part of the games next week.

“It was a metatarsal for Sean, and Daniel MacKay also had a tidy up. They are at the stage where they seem to be doing a lot of straight line running with the physios which is good.

“At some stage they will do shorter and more intense stuff before rejoining the group.

“Sean was hugely influential for us last year, but we don’t want to get to the stage where he wants to push it, and he pushes it just a wee bit too far too quickly.

“I would rather he was another week or 10 days behind, and he’s 100% fit rather than 90% and trying to push it and he aggravates it again.

“We want to make sure he’s ready again, because he’s a hugely influential player for us.”

Although winger MacKay remains sidelined following a knee operation, Robertson hopes the 18-year-old, along with fellow teenagers Roddy MacGregor, Cameron Harper and Matheus Machado, can progress into the first team this term.

Robertson is hoping to test his youngsters against Premiership opposition, with tomorrow’s game against the Dons followed by fixtures against Hearts and St Johnstone.

Robertson added: “Our youngsters are another year older and we are really pushing them in pre-season to make sure they get their opportunities in the next three matches against Premiership teams to see if they are up to the standard required to be part of the first team squad.

“So far they have looked very good in the fitness aspects, and very sharp against Highland League opposition.

“We will now ask them to step up against Premiership opposition.”