Caley Thistle defender Brad Mckay is intent on making himself a key part of John Robertson’s reshuffled backline in the weeks to come.
Inverness have lost Coll Donaldson to rivals Ross County, while Jamie McCart has agreed a pre-contract with St Johnstone, who could move to sign him before Friday’s transfer deadline. Right back Shaun Rooney has also attracted interest from Saints and Dundee.
Although Robertson has already moved to bring in Lewis Toshney from Falkirk, Mckay is eager to show the Caley Jags manager he can step into the breach ahead of today’s Championship trip to Ayr United.
Mckay said: “I believe we have players who can step in a do the job.
“There’s plenty competition and the manager has done great in that aspect as well, bringing in Lewis Toshney who I know well from his time at other clubs.
“We have Kevin McHattie there and Jamie McCart, while Shaun Rooney can play centre-back quite capably as well.
“He’ll be a miss, but we have people who are more than capable of filling in.
“I said to Coll when the rumours were flying about: ‘Any chance of you leaving so I can get a game?’
“I’m close to Coll, so I was just joking but he has ended up leaving – and it opens up a door for myself.”
Mckay’s campaign has been disrupted by injury, with the 26-year-old limited to just nine appearances after sitting out the opening three months of the campaign with a fractured vertebrae.
Mckay admits it has taken him time to regain his stride, adding: “I’ve struggled to get involved, coming back from injury. We’re doing well, second in the league, so I’ve had to be very patient.
“It has been difficult. Some people say the length of your injury is the length of time it takes to get back to past fitness levels.
“I played a friendly against Elgin in a hurricane and on a poor pitch a couple of weeks ago and struggled with fitness.
“I wasn’t the only one struggling, but I was tired and needed every minute of that game.
“Against Alloa, I felt 10 times better and hopefully that’s me back on track now.”
Mckay is wary of today’s opponents, despite Inverness enjoying a dominant 16-match league unbeaten run against the Honest Men which stretches back to April 2003.
The former Hearts and St Johnstone defender added: “It’s a chance for us to go seven points clear of Ayr. It’s a chance for us to stretch ahead again.
“We’ve got a good record against them, even at their place. I don’t know why that is, but we seem to do well against them.
“But it is always tough down there and you need to work hard to get any sort of result.
“We’ve just seen them beat Ross County in the Scottish Cup, so we know what we’re up against.”