Caley Thistle manager John Robertson insists forward Nikolay Todorov must not allow his personal frustrations to get the better of him in his pursuit of goals.
Bulgarian Todorov netted his second goal of the season to secure a late point for Inverness in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ayr United.
Todorov had twice been denied by the woodwork in the first half, which Robertson revealed drew an angry reaction from the 24-year-old at half-time.
Robertson feels Todorov, who had been an injury doubt after suffering a bruised rib against Dunfermline the previous week, must channel his frustrations into a rugged persistence to get among the goals.
Todorov said: “Todorov does a great job for us. He’s a focal point. Sometimes you need a bit of brawn up front in this league.
“He has to work on little aspects of his game, keeping the ball better at times and knocking it off to people, but he gets himself in some great positions.
“On another day he could have had a hat-trick, with one off the bar and one off the post, but he got his reward.
“But he is very hard on himself, very critical.
“At half-time, he was raging in the dressing room and we said we don’t want to hear that.
“What we want him to say is I’ll get the next one. That’s what good strikers do.
“He was dead on his feet and still in pain from his ribs.
“Technically speaking he probably shouldn’t have played, but he knew we had nothing else and he was determined to give us something, which he did.”
Inverness were already without several senior players for Saturday’s Caledonian Stadium encounter, with Brad Mckay forced off midway through the second half with a hamstring tweak.
Robertson revealed Wallace Duffy, Cameron Harper and Scott Allardice were also struggling with strains as the match went on.
Robertson says the endeavour of his young side to claim a point in the dying stages will augur well for the return of more experienced players in the coming weeks.
He added: “Bodies were dropping. It is an extremely difficult period for the club in terms of personnel and we’ve just got to get them through it.
“We said before the game we weren’t looking at it as an excuse because the players we have available can do a job for us.
“What it does say to the senior players is they are going to have to work extremely hard to get back in the team.
“The young lads have little flaws in their games. Roddy at times takes an extra touch. Daniel Mackay at times reacts, rather than anticipates flick-ons.
“Cameron Harper will sometimes play a slackish pass, but they’re babies. They’re only kids.
“That’s where we are. We have 10 or 11 players out, nine of whom are senior players.
“What we need to do is to start getting one or two of them back over the next few weeks.”
Robertson is also encouraged by the early indications shown from his new look defensive line, adding: “It was always going to be young anyway because we lost our entire back four last season and we’re building a new one.
“We’ve lost Lewis Toshney and Kevin McHattie through injury, who are crucial for us as well.
“We’re bedding in the likes of Wallace Duffy and Robbie Deas but they’ve shown they are more than capable.”