Greg Tansey reckons the core of a Caley Thistle promotion challenge is already at the club.
Former Caley Jags favourite Tansey believes the addition of Danny Devine to the likes of James Vincent and Aaron Doran – all Scottish Cup winners with the club – can help them create their own piece of history.
He also reserved praise for ever-present coach Scott Kellacher, who has worked his way up from being a youth coach to assistant manager.
Inverness are due to start their truncated Championship season on October 17 away to Dunfermline, in what will be their fourth season in the second tier.
Tansey hopes the revamped squad under John Robertson can make a concerted push for a return to the Premiership.
He said: “They’ve got a good chance. They’ve still got top players like Aaron Doran, who’s under-appreciated. I don’t know what pressure he gets up there, but to me he’s an Inverness legend. He’s going to be a massive player for them this season.
“The manager is top drawer. Unfortunately I was never able to work with him, but they’ve got Scott Kellacher, who’s probably one of the most underrated coaches in Scotland. John Hughes raves about him as well. Scott likes to go under the radar, but he’s massive in the club, not only as a coach but in the dressing room.
“They’ve got a good core group and hopefully the signings come in and hit the ground running. I’ve got my fingers crossed for them and have a lot of faith in the coaching staff.”
Tansey pinpointed the experienced trio of Devine, Vincent and Doran, who were all team-mates of his during his time in the Highland capital, as having big parts to play.
He added: “They are big players in that dressing room. What Vinny (Vincent) has done for the club is huge. Aaron and Danny are best mates – they go dog-walking together – and it’s not going to take Danny long to settle in. I felt that when I came back.”
Hearts are overwhelming favourites for the Championship title, after their relegation when the 2019-20 campaign was ended early. Dundee will also have designs on getting back to the top flight, while opening-day opponents Dunfermline have also recruited well.
Tansey said: “I really do want to see them in the Premiership again. The lads and the coaching staff deserve to be at that level.
“It’d be nice for the club to have a new era and push on – nothing to do at all with what’s happened in the past. I’m sure the lads are thinking they want to create their own history.
‘‘People wouldn’t forget the squad that got Inverness up from the Championship.”