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MacKay willing to lead line for depleted Caley Jags

Caley Thistle’s Daniel MacKay.
Caley Thistle’s Daniel MacKay.

Caley Thistle winger Daniel MacKay insists he will be prepared to lead the line should the Highlanders’ striker shortage fail to ease before the weekend.

Inverness manager John Robertson is light on attacking options when Nikolay Todorov went off with a rib injury after opening the scoring in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Dunfermline.

Caley Jags were already without Miles Storey and Shane Sutherland through hamstring injuries, which prompted Robertson to deploy MacKay up front.

MacKay, who spent last season on loan with Elgin City, says he is willing to show his adaptability if none of Caley Jags’ forwards can recover in time for Saturday’s Championship home match against Ayr United.

MacKay said: “I can definitely do a job up there – for the team I will play anywhere.

“I can play anywhere across the front three. I thought I did OK when I went up front, me and James Keatings had a good understanding.

“We’ve still got a few boys coming back, but if it needs to be I play there for the next game, it will be no problem at all.”

MacKay set up Todorov’s opener at East End Park after just 90 seconds on Saturday, which the 19-year-old reckons bodes well for when the Bulgarian forward recovers from his injury.

MacKay added: “You know with Nikolay, one of his big strengths is in the box. At the start of the game the manager told me the Dunfermline full back likes to come in, so he told me to stay wide and put crosses in.

“That’s what I did, and luckily it went in for Nikolay as well.

“It was a good start to the game, but unfortunately it didn’t finish that way.

“It has been a while. We didn’t have a date, and then when we got the date we still had another three months.

“It’s different, but it’s good to be back playing football.”

Inverness will look to bounce back from their opening day defeat when they host the Honest Men, who got off to a winning start against Queen of the South last weekend.

The game will be the first of back-to-back home matches for Robertson’s men, who host Arbroath the following weekend.

MacKay is determined to pick up his side’s first points of the campaign, insisting home form will be key to his side’s promotion hopes in the truncated campaign.

He added: “It’s crucial for us to win those two games and show teams we are ready to be in this play-off battle – not even play-offs but the league.

“We need to put a stamp down at home and make sure we don’t drop points. We need to make sure it’s a fortress to come to, even if no fans are there.

“With the league being 27 games, we said it from the start when we came in. We need to be sharp from the get go or else we will get caught short at the end.

“Games will run out when you don’t have another nine games. We have only got 27 games so that is one down. It’s still a long season ahead, even though it’s short.

“I can’t see why we wouldn’t be in those play-offs at all with the quality we’ve got in our squad.”

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