Caley Thistle manager John Hughes has challenged Nick Ross, Ryan Christie and Liam Polworth to stake a claim for a starting place in his team this season.
The Inverness manager has been hugely impressed with the trio’s attitude and application since returning for pre-season training and will give all three a chance to impress in tonight’s friendly at Forres Mechanics (7.30pm).
Hughes said: “Guys like Nick Ross, Liam Polworth and Ryan Christie, I want them to come back and really stake a claim for the first team.
“The three of them have come back in great nick. In fact, in terms of Liam and Nick, I’m going to have to put the reins on these guys. They are two who have come back and are really sharp. Others have as well but I’m mentioning them because I want them to push on.
“These two have really taken on board what I want from them and now I’m going to have to go and reward that. I’m not going to ask them to do something and not reward it, so the way to do that is to give them game time.
“That’s the next step. They’ve got to get game time and be man of the match. Go and run the show in the games. Go and show what you can do and if they do that, then I’ve got a real headache.
“I’m mentioning Liam and Nick, along with Ryan, because that’s the three I want to see push for a place, and probably James Vincent as well. Christie is still lacking that wee bit strength but the man’s pre-season we are giving him will do him the world of good.”
Hughes is delighted with the efforts of his players so far and believes he has a squad full of talented future coaches at Inverness.
He said: “Having been in the game a long time I can see some of these guys eventually going into coaching and management. What they need to do is take that responsibility and make sure that we get success.
“I don’t know what I am going to get, I don’t know how the season is going to pan out but we will be competing in every game we take part in.”
Hughes will still be without captain Richie Foran tomorrow as the midfielder is still not 100% following a knee injury suffered in training.