Caley Thistle defender Cameron Harper says that his handball controversy against Hearts will not change his defensive instincts to put his body on the line.
Harper was penalised by referee Steven McLean in Caley Jags’ Betfred Cup group match at Tynecastle, after Josh Ginnelly’s shot struck his arm.
The new International Football Association Board ruling states a handball offence only takes place if a player has used their arms to make themselves unnaturally bigger, which Harper did not appear to do.
The incident proved crucial as Jamie Walker’s penalty turned out to be the only goal of the game.
However, 18-year-old Harper is determined not to let the verdict affect his confidence.
Harper said: “It was a shot, so as a defender my natural instinct is to block because I don’t want to concede. As a defender I want clean sheets.
“I have put myself in the line of the ball, but I have not made myself any bigger and I don’t think I’ve made any action towards the ball to try and stop it with my hand.
“They say that if you make your body bigger it’s a penalty, but I don’t get how me having my hands within my body line is making myself bigger.
“The referee said I put my elbow out when I haven’t, so I feel a wee bit hard done by on it.
“I think the referee got it wrong but there is not a lot we can do about it now,” he said.
“It’s hard to take with it being me, but we have got to move on from it and look to the next game. We will look to bounce back.”
The loss to Championship title favourites Hearts was Inverness’ first competitive action of the new season, with Cowdenbeath next up at Caledonian Stadium on Tuesday.
Harper hopes his side will benefit from the Edinburgh encounter, adding: “That’s only our fourth game, so I think we can take a lot of positives from it. We will just grow from this.
“I don’t know how many months we have been out now, it feels like forever.
“Ever since we have come back from training it has been good, so it will stand us in good stead.”
Harper will be given an opportunity to make the left-back position his own following the departure of skipper Carl Tremarco in the summer, with the Inverness-born player eager to make the most of the chance.
He added: “With Carl leaving it has been talked about. I want to step up and play regular first-team football.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to play my football here, as it is for some of the other young players. I thought Daniel MacKay and Roddy MacGregor were very good against Hearts.”
Caley Thistle’s Championship match at Queen of the South in December has been moved to Friday December 4 with a 7.45pm kick-off. The game will be shown live on BBC Scotland.