After 11 months without a start, David Carson was not going to leave anything out on the field when his return came around.
The Caley Thistle midfielder was been thrown back in at the deep end, after injury troubles hampered the start to his season.
He was pitched back in for the 2-0 win over Ayr United last month, his first 90 minutes since playing Queen of the South on March 10.
Regardless of his lack of match-sharpness, Carson’s work-ethic would not allow him to give anything less than his best on his return.
“It was difficult to get minutes with the pandemic,” he said. “We couldn’t get friendlies to get me up and firing. With the Ayr game I was chucked in at the deep end; I hadn’t gone any game practice in.
“The spell where we had a few weeks without playing games, it allowed me to get extra training in, extra sessions and running. It’s not the same as going into a game. I worked hard and made sure I was right when my chance came and did the best I can.
— David Carson (@DaveyCarson8) February 20, 2021
“You always need a few games but when I go on a pitch, I play with no fear and give everything I’ve got. If I went into that Ayr game and blew up at 60 minutes, with the gaffer having to take me off, there’s nothing I could have done about that. I gave everything I could.
“There’s nothing more I could have done in that situation. All I can do is be ready and make sure when I go in, I’m right at it.”
A knee problem had seen him miss the first seven games of the campaign, prior to his long-awaited comeback.
Carson has started three of the last four games for Caley Thistle, coming off the bench for the second half of the game against Dundee on Tuesday.
He may well be pitched in again at Alloa Athletic this afternoon, a game in which Inverness need to pick up three points to revitalise their play-off hopes.
“We’ve underperformed in some games and got a lot of draws in games we should have won,” added Carson. “The league is tight and the gaffer was saying if we put a run of games together, you can jump up this league massively.
“Some of the draws we’ve come away with, we’ve been the better side but given the other side chances and ultimately they’ve took it. We need to stay focused and work on what we’ve got. If we put a good run together who knows what could happen.”
Caley Thistle got a date this week for their Scottish Cup second round tie with Buckie Thistle, after the game was postponed due to bad weather in January and then shelved by the lower-league shutdown.
The prize for both clubs is a trip to Premiership side Ross County in the next round, which provides added incentive for Caley Jags players to secure a derby contest.
“To play in a derby as a footballer – you want to play in big games,” said Carson. “We’ve got to do things right against Buckie to get there but the carrot is dangled for us to get a massive tie. It would mean a lot to everyone and you can get the bragging rights if you go into that game and perform.
“We’ve got to respect Buckie and I’m sure the boys are looking toward that tie. It could be a spring in the step – the togetherness and spirit it would give us moving forward as a group, it could be something that’s needed.