Caley Thistle manager John Robertson insists Alloa Athletic’s part-time status counts for nothing ahead of tomorrow’s Championship encounter at Caledonian Stadium.
Alloa go into tomorrow’s game occupying the relegation play-off spot, with fellow part-time outfit Arbroath below them at the foot of the table.
The Wasps make the trip north fresh from defeating Inverness 2-1 in their last outing at Recreation Park last month, however, while they also knocked league leaders Hearts out of the Betfred Cup earlier in the season.
Robertson insists Peter Grant’s men have proven to be worthy of their Championship status and says anybody underestimating their threat does so at their peril.
He said: “Just because they are part-time does not mean they are bad players, they are not fit and that we are automatically going to beat them.
“Part-time Alloa beat Hearts, who have spent £6 million.
“We are not allowed to bet, but if football was predictable everybody else would be millionaires as they would know exactly what the outcomes of games would be.
“That’s the intricacies of football. If you are organised, which Alloa and Arbroath are, and they both have good players, they will create.
“They are not in this league for no reason. You wouldn’t have big clubs like Partick Thistle and Falkirk in League One if they were..
“If everything went to normal, Caley Thistle would never have won promotion or won the Scottish Cup, or caused all the cup upsets over the years. It’s the unpredictability of football.”
Robertson, who had an 18-month spell as East Fife manager between 2010 and 2012, feels there is no less physical demands on part-time players compared to his own full-time players.
He added: “Part-time means nothing these days. I was manager of East Fife and with the amount of work they do on Tuesday and Thursday training sessions, you are only maybe missing out on one session.
“On a Friday at full-time level, you go over your shape, corners and free-kicks and the likes. You are only maybe an hour or slightly longer, because strength and conditioning coaches say a short sharp session is all you need to do.
“With having the gym at the stadium now, we can bring players in to work on their strength and conditioning, and bring players in on the occasional afternoon to work on specifics of their game if the weather dictates, which it hasn’t at the moment.
“It’s not the old days where part-time guys would turn up for an hour, have a kickabout and go home. They are efficient, well run and – most importantly – they’ve got very good players.”
Inverness will be in action for the first time in 2021 tomorrow following a spate of recent call-offs, most recently last weekend’s trip to Raith Rovers which was postponed following a Covid-19 outbreak at the Kirkcaldy club.
The Highlanders have not played for nearly a month, with their last outing a 1-1 draw at home to Dunfermline on December 29.
Despite a cold forecast later today, Robertson says all provisions have been made for tomorrow’s game to go ahead.
Robertson added: “For a variety of reasons through no fault of our own, whether it be a waterlogged pitch, a frozen pitch or Covid-19 we have not been able to play.
“We will put the covers on ourselves this afternoon as it’s going to be quite cold overnight.
“It will just be a case of Alloa hopefully getting up the road safely to play the match.”