Caley Thistle manager John Robertson feels the Highlanders are reaping the rewards of a resurgent Aaron Doran.
Irish winger Doran is enjoying a fine campaign, and is Inverness’ leading goalscorer with eight goals.
Doran has netted twice in three matches since the turn of the year, and Robertson feels the 28-year-old has done well following a loss of form earlier in the campaign.
Robertson said: “It’s January so it’s Aaron Doran time. Scott Kellacher has a laugh with him. He winds him up every year, saying as soon as Christmas and New Year is out the way Aaron starts to play well because that’s when the votes come out for the player of the year and team of the year awards, which Aaron gets in about every year.
“Wingers will have feasts and famines. Aaron went through a tough time, he had seven or eight games where he just wasn’t at his normal high standards. He was frustrated.
“He also knows with his experience that he will play through that. Had we had Tom Walsh available at the time, he may have got a bit more of a rest. We may have switched it over and looked at something different.
“He had to keep going, and he has played through it. He’s now looking very dangerous, he looks like the Aaron Doran we know can hurt teams.”
Walsh has returned to contention in recent weeks, after a hamstring injury, and Robertson says he is hot on the heels of Doran and fellow winger Miles Storey in pursuit of a starting place. Robertson added: “We want players who are not in the team to be putting pressure on the players in the team. Hopefully it leads to a higher standard from the players who are starting to keep their places, knowing we have the quality behind them to come on.”
Inverness host second-bottom side Alloa Athletic in what will be the teams’ fifth meeting so far this term, with Caley Jags having triumphed 3-2 over the Wasps in the Scottish Cup this month.
Robertson insists both sides will be familiar with each other, adding: “It’s the intricacies of a league where teams play each other at least four times – you just get on with it.
“This year we know for a fact we will play Alloa six times. We have played them four times already, and we’ve still got two league games to come.
“That’s the kind of things that can happen. You know they are coming, you know what their strengths and weaknesses are, as they do with us, and you just have to deal with it.”