Caley Thistle midfielder James Vincent hopes to make up for lost time after making his long-awaited return in Inverness’ friendly victory against St Johnstone on Friday.
Vincent, who has been sidelined with a calf strain, played an hour of Caley Jags’ 3-1 win against Saints at Grant Street Park in his first appearance since rejoining the Highlanders earlier this summer.
The Englishman won the adulation of Caley Jags’ supporters following his winning goal in their Scottish Cup final victory over Falkirk in 2015, and after returning to fitness he is determined to make another strong impression.
Vincent said: “It was frustrating missing part of pre-season through injury, but sometimes that’s just part and parcel of the game.
“It was really good to put the shirt back on, play for Inverness again and join in with the boys. I really enjoyed it.
“It’s good to get minutes under my belt. I was wondering how I would feel out there, but I felt really good.
“It’s just about building myself up, like the lads have done prior to that. That will be the focus in the coming games. I will push on and catch up.”
Vincent hopes to be involved when Inverness make the trip to Peterhead in their opening Betfred Cup fixture tomorrow, with the 29-year-old adding: “With the lads in the changing room you get to know them on that level, but it’s different when you are out on the park.
“Relationships form, and you start getting to know players and their strengths, and what you can do to help the team.
“Hopefully I can be involved in some form in the game. I felt good out there so whatever team the manager picks, it will be strong enough to go and get the result.”
John Robertson’s men have enjoyed an unbeaten pre-season campaign, with Friday’s victory over the Perth side following draws against fellow Premiership sides Aberdeen and Hearts.
Vincent feels his side can approach the Betfred Cup group stage in confident mood, and he added: “It’s pre-season, you don’t want to get too carried away, but we have been consistent against tough opposition.
“The manager has got some good games for us, and to end the pre-season fixtures with a win against Premiership opposition is really good for us. It gives us confidence and hopefully we can push that on and take it into the cup stages.
“In pre-season games there’s always that competitive edge, but until there is that legitimate competitive edge you don’t know what you’ll be getting.
“To go into these games with the confidence we’ve got is promising. The lads have been brilliant, there’s a lot of positivity and we want to take that into the group stage.”