Former Caley Thistle defender Josh Meekings has backed temporary boss Neil McCann to steer the club through its difficult period.
Meekings worked with McCann at Dundee, where he was given a chance after a long-standing knee injury and later named captain of the Dark Blues.
McCann returned to the game after two-and-a-half years out on Tuesday, being named interim manager while John Robertson is on a period of compassionate leave. McCann had last been in a managerial role in 2018 at Dundee.
Scottish Cup winner Meekings, who currently plays for National League side Wealdstone, passed on his regards to Robertson and backed McCann to come to Inverness’ aid.
The club is pleased to announce that Neil McCann will take the position of Manager of ICTFC while John Robertson is on his compassionate leave.
A further statement and full interview with Neil will appear on the ICTFC website tomorrow.
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) February 23, 2021
He said: “He was the one who took me in at Dundee and gave me the opportunity after my knee injury. I’m forever grateful to him for that.
“I like his philosophies and the way he wants to play football. I don’t know what the script will be, if he’s able to take his own ideas into it or if he’s following what’s already there.
“But he’s very good at coaching and gets his points across. We did a lot on the training pitch and had good, intense sessions. He demands high standards, so I feel he could potentially do really well up there.
“It comes down to how much he is able to put on to the Inverness team. He’s temporarily in charge – I’ve never seen anything like it before – and it’s obviously a difficult period for John. I hope he comes through it and gets back to managing again.
“Neil is a good coach and I really enjoyed my time with him at Dundee. I felt we had just addressed what the issue was at Dundee then he had to leave; it was a period I felt, if he’d had a bit more backing, he certainly could have turned our fortunes around.
“He’s fiery, he’s passionate and I think he’ll do well up there. As long as the players take to him, I don’t see why they can’t go and have a successful part of the season.”
McCann continues the Hearts connection at Caley Thistle, with Robertson, chief executive Scot Gardiner, plus players Kevin McHattie, Brad Mckay, Mark Ridgers, James Keatings and Anthony McDonald all having worked for the Jambos.
Caley Thistle take on Hearts on Friday night at the Caledonian Stadium, which will be McCann’s first game in charge.
Meekings added: “I want them to do well. It’s a club that I follow closely still and I have friends there. I keep in touch with Brad Mckay and Kevin McHattie – there’s people in there I want to do well.
“I always had conversations with Neil. I had a good relationship with him and Graham Gartland, the assistant manager at the time. He’s very professional and wants everything done properly.
“I look forward to seeing how he does. I felt his time was cut short at Dundee when it shouldn’t have been and that’s just my personal opinion. It’s good to see him back and getting an opportunity in the game.”