Caley Thistle manager John Robertson insists the Highlanders did all they could to keep now Ayr United winger Tom Walsh at Caledonian Stadium.
Walsh turned down a new two-year deal with Inverness in the summer, before opting to sign for the Honest Men who the Highlanders host today.
Although the 24-year-old encountered injury problems during his two-year stin,t he enjoyed a productive spell with Caley Jags, in which he netted 13 goals in 68 appearances.
Walsh had initially harboured ambitions of securing a top-flight move, however ,Robertson insists he holds no grudges about the Troon-born player’s decision to join Inverness’ Championship rivals.
Robertson said: “We wanted to keep Tom. We offered him a good deal to stay, but he told us he was determined to get himself a Premiership club.
“We left the door open, we told him he was always welcome back if he couldn’t find a Premiership team.
“He obviously signed for Ayr, which is his local side. He’s an Ayr player now and he can be a handful, there’s no doubt about that, but we move on.”
Ayr have been forced to reshuffle their squad after losing several players during the summer, with midfielder Cammy Smith and Innes Cameron becoming their ninth and 10th additions of the campaign when they joined on loan from Dundee United and Kilmarnock this week.
Mark Kerr’s side made the perfect start to the league campaign by defeating Queen of the South 2-1 at Somerset Park last weekend, however Robertson is eager to register his side’s first points of the campaign.
He added: “They have brought in a couple of new lads to their back four, with Jack Baird at centre-half and Patrick Reading at left-back. Michael Miller has come in with Joe Chalmers, who we know all about.
“Ayr have got good players, they have strengthened well and got off to a good start by getting that win on the board.
“We are at home and we hope to take the game to them with the players we have available.”
Caley Thistle have a lengthy injury list for today’s match, with Nikolay Todorov doubtful due to a bruised rib.
Miles Storey, Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney are out, while Aaron Doran, David Carson and Shane Sutherland are unlikely to feature.
Robertson, who has on-loan Rangers winger Kai Kennedy available for the first time, insists he is not dwelling on the absentee list.
He added: “Injuries are just part and parcel of the game, but it has been magnified this year by the long lay-off. Players have not been able strengthen historical injuries with their knees, calves, thighs and the like.
“We knew coming back there would be muscle injuries. We saw the stats from the English Premiership and Championship when they came back.
“For us, it has been strange. Early on, it was all our defenders who were injured and, as they came back, it was all our forwards.
“It’s unfortunate to have so many injuries, but we’re not down about it. Training this week has been razor sharp and the boys have been working really hard ahead of Ayr on Saturday.
“The intensity and sharpness has been exactly where we need it to be.”