Caley Thistle manager John Robertson hopes Roddy MacGregor’s first senior goal has lifted a weight off his shoulders.
The maiden goal came on his 36th Inverness outing, Tuesday’s 3-3 draw with Raith Rovers.
With Caley Jags losing the subsequent penalty shoot-out, the result means Inverness go into today’s final Group A match against East Fife with no prospect of qualifying for the last 16 of the Betfred Cup.
MacGregor’s goal was a source of encouragement for Robertson, however, with the Caley Jags boss pleased to see the 18-year-old answer the joking taunts from some more experienced team-mates.
Robertson said: “I think you saw the reaction from all the players when Roddy scored. They were all round him, and virtually carrying him on their shoulders back to the half-way line.
“It has been playing on the wee man’s mind. He is a fabulous talent, he has played in numerous positions for us in this campaign already due to our injury situation, and come very close on several occasions.
“To finally get his goal, I’m sure it will take a huge weight off his shoulders.”
Shane Sutherland also netted at Stark’s Park to claim his first goal since returning to Caley Jags in the summer, while attacker James Keatings found the net from the penalty spot.
With Nikolay Todorov, Aaron Doran and Daniel MacKay having scored this season, Robertson is pleased with the side’s firepower.
He added: “It was good for Shane to get off the mark, and James Keatings got off the mark for the campaign as well.
“We created several other chances and we should have scored more goals. Given the form Raith were in I felt we went down there and did extremely well.
“There were lots of positives other than the final score as it was a game we should have put to bed.”
Although Inverness will reap no rewards for a victory over the League One Fifers today, Robertson hopes his side can use the match to build momentum ahead of next Saturday’s league match against Raith.
He added: “It has been a tough group, you just have to look at the results. East Fife beating Cowdenbeath by two goals, and Hearts beating Raith Rovers by two goals has been the biggest winning margin.
“It has been very tight and I don’t see the East Fife game being any different.
“They were unlucky not to get a result against Hearts, they probably deserved to get a point.”
He added: “We want to give as much game time as we can to players who are returning from injury, but ultimately win the game.”