Caley Thistle defender Coll Donaldson reckons John Robertson’s side can be just as effective even if they have to adopt a different style this season.
Inverness have been forced into a summer of transition in the middle of the park after Liam Polworth left to join Motherwell, while Joe Chalmers has also opted to move to the Premiership with Highland rivals Ross County.
The pair have been replaced in the heart of midfield by former Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Carson, who joined following a spell with English non-league side Morpeth Town, while James Vincent has also returned to the Highlanders after spending last season with fellow Championship side Dunfermline.
With Sean Welsh still to return after breaking a metatarsal towards the end of last season, and Canadian Charlie Trafford also vying for a midfield berth, Donaldson feels Caley Jags must find a combination which can suit the strengths of Robertson’s squad.
Donaldson, who faces former club Dundee United in Saturday’s Championship opener at Tannadice, said: “It is hard to tell if we are stronger this season. It is still so early.
“You can’t really replace the likes of Liam Polworth or Joe Chalmers, especially at this level, in terms of what their quality is like on the ball.
“Joe was probably the best player on the ball, I thought, in the league last season.
“You have to find other ways to be effective. Dave Carson has come in and I’ve been really impressed in every game I’ve played with him.
“He’s got that different side to him that Joe maybe didn’t have, just in terms of pressing and getting up against boys.
“So it might be a different style of Caley Thistle side this year, but hopefully it gets us the three points on a Saturday.”
Robertson has also bolstered his attacking options with the additions of Nikolay Todorov, James Keatings and Mitch Curry, who is a doubt for Saturday’s game against United after injuring his ankle in the Betfred Cup loss to Dundee on Sunday.
With Todorov and Keatings already among the goals during Inverness’ group section, Donaldson hopes they can continue to settle into Robertson’s side, with the 24-year-old adding: “We’ve got a good group here in terms of the social side. It is easy for a new boy to come into the dressing room.
“You’re not going to feel intimidated as it is a really good dressing room. It probably gives you that platform to just go and play football.
“It’s not much of a transition – we’ve seen that with the guys who have come in, who have all settled in really well.”