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John Robertson says young players will learn key lessons from Dundee encounter

John Robertson.
John Robertson.

Caley Thistle manager John Robertson feels Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Dundee will go down as a valuable learning experience for his young side.

Inverness were held to a draw by the Dark Blues having come from behind to lead through quickfire Robbie Deas and James Keatings strikes, before being pegged back by Jordan McGhee’s late equaliser.

Robertson pinpointed a lack of understanding between Cameron Harper and Roddy MacGregor for allowing McGhee a clear run for his 83rd minute strike, which ultimately cost Inverness all three points.

Robertson feels the young players in his side must develop better communication at key moments in the game.

He said: “We are learning, and Saturday was another learning curve.

“We designate players to mark in the box. We lost two players for the first goal, one got a free header and the other scored the rebound.

“It’s just communication for the second goal. If it had been two senior pros, if it was Brad Mckay and Miles Storey I’m sure the communication would have been right and one of them would have come through and cleared it.

“They both just hesitated for that split second which they will do. They are young lads and they will make the occasional mistake.

“It’s just unfortunate for them it has ended up in a goal. But that shouldn’t detract from both of them, they were both excellent again.

“We feel we are improving.”

Despite the lapse Robertson has been thrilled with the impact made by his young players, who have become a mainstay of his new-look side this season.

MacGregor has started all but one of Caley Jags’ 11 games this season, getting off the mark with his first two senior goals for his hometown club.

Harper, who recently turned 19, has also made the left back position his own since Kevin McHattie suffered an injury at the start of the season.

Cameron Harper in action for Inverness.

On-loan Rangers teenager Kai Kennedy has made a strong impact, while Daniel MacKay has also featured regularly, and Robertson feels the youngsters have stepped up to the mark.

He added: “The young lads are there on merit, there is absolutely no doubt about that.

“The one that goes under the radar a lot is Cameron who has been outstanding.

“We have had to rebuild the back four, and we still have the likes of Wallace Duffy, Lewis Toshney and Kevin McHattie to bring back in should we need them.

“The lads are doing a fantastic job. As a manager that’s exactly what I want, for the players in possession of the starting jerseys to keep them.”

Although Inverness were forced to settle for a point against Dundee on Saturday, the result stretches their unbeaten run to five matches in all competitions.

Caley Jags now face back-to-back away matches against Alloa Athletic and Morton, before their next home game against Dunfermline on December 29.

Robertson was once again pleased with the level of performance from his side, and he added: “Fair play to Dundee, they were popping it about for fun in the first 25 minutes.

“We felt we were containing them, as Mark Ridgers in the whole game didn’t really have a save to make.

“In terms of chances, Jack Hamilton had six or seven great saves and we missed a couple of sitters.

“We ended up drawing 2-2 so if we were a bit more ruthless and a bit luckier in front of goal, we would have won the match.

“I cannot be disappointed in terms of the performance. I thought we were excellent again.”

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