Caley Thistle defender Jamie McCart feels being given the first sustained run of his senior career has helped him to thrive with the Highlanders.
McCart has been an ever-present throughout the league campaign for John Robertson’s men so far, partnering Coll Donaldson at the heart of Inverness’ defence.
McCart is in his second stint with Caley Jags, having made 11 appearances during a loan spell from Celtic as a teenager in 2017, in which he was unable to prevent Inverness suffering relegation from the Premiership.
The 22-year-old had found regular game time hard to come by until he broke into Robertson’s team during the midway point of last season, and McCart insists he has not looked back since.
McCart said: “Since I have started professional it has probably been the only time I’ve had a proper run in a team.
“I have loved every moment of it – it has been brilliant.
“It has helped me massively, it’s the first time I have experienced it.
“I turned 22 in the summer so it’s probably a perfect time for me to get this run of games and try to kick on.”
Inverness have recovered strongly after losing their opening Championship match of the season 4-1 away to Dundee United, with four wins from five matches since leaving them just two points of the Tangerines and Ayr United who occupy the top two positions.
Although Inverness finished last season strongly to finish in the play-offs, McCart felt dropped points earlier in the campaign prevented his side running eventual winners Ross County.
McCart feels his side have gone some way towards addressing that, adding: “I think the slow start and the draws hampered us last year – especially at home.
“If we had turned one or two of our draws into wins last season, it could have made a massive difference for us.
“Already, including the cup, we have had six wins at home, with three in the league.
“That’s something we said, that we had to nail a good start. We are full of confidence.”
Robertson has greater strength in depth at his disposal this season, after making six fresh additions over the summer.
The Highlanders recently recorded successive wins over Morton in both the league and Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup with two almost entirely different team selections, and McCart feels the recruitment has improved the squad.
He added: “That’s something the manager has said, we didn’t have that strength in depth last year.
“The team that played the second time against Morton was strong – it could play in this league.
“That was a big plus for us, especially the way the two performances and results against Morton went.”