Caley Thistle defender Brad Mckay feels the Covid-19 restrictions have denied the Highlanders’ new recruits the opportunity to fully integrate into the squad.
Inverness have made seven new additions during the course of the season, with Scott Allardice, Shane Sutherland, Robbie Deas, Wallace Duffy and Danny Devine joining last summer, while Anthony McDonald arrived earlier this month.
Kai Kennedy was also drafted in on loan from Rangers, but departed in January after failing to settle in the Highlands.
Mckay is among Caley Jags’ longest-serving players having joined from St Johnstone in 2016, and he feels the lack of team bonding exercises has not helped the incoming players to settle into the dressing room as normal.
Inverness will have an overnight stay ahead of tomorrow’s Championship trip to Ayr United, which Mckay hopes will help the squad to gel within the guidelines.
Mckay said: “The journey in itself is not fun, but we are with the boys. Things like that are helpful at every club I’ve been at. It’s probably the closest thing we will get.
“The manager mentioned that maybe at a time when things aren’t going so well we can get together and do something as team bonding.
“This has happened at every club, whether things are going well or not. We haven’t had that, we haven’t even been in the dressing room all season with the new players.
“We get on great, but there’s never been a chance to go and do something outside of football which is a shame.
“It was something that was big for me when I came up here. I felt straight at home with the boys in the dressing room.
“There’s no egos when you come to a place like this, which was nice for me. At previous clubs there’s egos floating about, and I’m not the kind of guy who likes that sort of stuff.
“You come here, and it’s a bit cliched but it’s a family club.”
Inverness remain ninth in the Championship, missing the chance to climb the table when they went down 1-0 to Queen of the South on Wednesday.
With Caley Jags now without a win in their last six matches, Mckay feels his side must find more effective ways to break down their opponents.
The 27-year-old added: “We seem to try and score the perfect goal, which is frustrating when you’re at the back with absolutely nothing to do.
“They just had one guy running about up front by himself. The amount of times I have come off a game thinking Ridgers has had nothing to do, but we’ve ended up getting beaten, it’s disappointing.
“I don’t know how we are going to solve it. We need to rally together and do something.
“We are not going to get teams doing what Queen of the South did every week, but that’s something that we have struggled with, I have noticed that over all the years I have been here.
“You can’t score the perfect goal – maybe Man City or Barcelona can – but at this level you are not going to break teams down going through the middle of them when they are so compact.
“You’ve got to go down the sides, cut things back, get bodies into the box and test them. Somebody will make a mistake.”
Inverness manager John Robertson revealed goalkeeper Mark Ridgers aired his frustration in the dressing room after the match, and Mckay feels players should be encouraged to make their voice heard.
The former Hearts defender added: “I can understand what he’s saying.
“I wouldn’t say there were harsh words, but there were some strong words in there.
“The frustration has obviously spilled over. I don’t think managers mind that at all. He sat and let the boys have it out. Sometimes it works, it gets to the bottom of things and gets things off your chest that have been bugging you.
“It’s not something that particularly bothers me. It can be coming from all angles and everyone gets a say, then the manager comes in and gives his input.”