Interim Caley Thistle boss Neil McCann is confident his players still have enough in the tank to cope with their demanding run of fixtures.
The Scottish Championship side have played six times in the last three weeks and face another six games before the end of the month, starting with Morton at home tonight.
While crucial to their hopes of getting into the play-offs, there is also the physical toll it could take on the players having to play Saturday-midweek on a constant basis.
In the last week they have had additional games slotted in during the March schedule, including a rearranged trip to Raith Rovers – who they face at home on Friday night – and the Scottish Cup tie against Buckie Thistle.
McCann said: “I think they look fresh enough. I need to work with Barry and Ess (Ryan Esson), as they’ll be more familiar with the boys in how they’re looking.
“The gameload isn’t going to be easy but I’m fine with the fact we’ve got a number in the squad where we can make changes – if we have to – to freshen it up. I’ve no fears about the boys being ready to go tonight.
“We’ve got a couple of players back joining us, which helps everybody. They’re experienced boys joining the group.
“Kevin McHattie and Lewis Toshney are back in the group and Aaron Doran has joined us again. These boys are going to be needed, with the amount of games we’ve got to go.
“They might not be up to speed, they might not be ready to start. But I’ve been encouraged by their attitudes, to say they’ll be ready to go if needed.”
The downside to the packed schedule, however, is that most of the time in between games will be spent on recovery, in order to keep players fresh for the next one. Opportunities to work on anything structurally or tactically will be limited.
McCann said: “It has been really tough to get a proper training session structurally, because ultimately footballers want to play football, and you’ve got to be conscious that you’re not filling their heads with too much tactical stuff. You’ve got to let them be a wee bit free, and that’s what we’ve done.
“It would be lovely to have a full week’s training, because then you can really structure the week and plan for the weekend, but we’re not fortunate enough to be in that position.”
McCann has not had any dialogue with John Robertson since he stepped aside last month but reckons he will share his disappointment at recent results.
He added: “John has stepped back and I think that’s right for him. He’ll be aware of what’s going on and will be as disappointed as I am that we’re not picking up the points we’re looking for. I’m pretty sure I’ll still have his full support behind-the-scenes.
“The group understand what we’re all playing for here – we’re all aiming for the same goal. It’s going to be tough but I’m sure the group are all capable of getting there.”