While Caley Thistle have not had their excuses to seek over the last month, Roddy MacGregor is not taking heed of them.
The Caley Jags have seen their manager John Robertson take compassionate leave, being replaced by interim boss Neil McCann, and have gone from one extreme to the other in their fixture list.
Inverness endured a barren start to the year, not playing between December 29 and January 27 due to postponements and rescheduling, but have now played seven times since the start of February. They also have six games to fit in before the end of March.
Their aspirations of making the play-offs have taken a hit by a poor run of results, which has seen them win just once in 2021.
“I’d say it has been a tough few weeks, with all that has happened, but we can’t use that as an excuse,” said MacGregor.
“We have been working hard on what has been wrong. We’ve looked over the last couple of games and identified where we could be doing better.
“We know what has gone wrong and know what we need to do in the coming games to get some results. Hopefully, we can put that into practice.”
You do not have to look far for downsides to runs of games like this. While every footballer cherishes playing over training, the physical demands increase and it also minimises the amount of time available to work on things on the training ground.
“Given the amount of games we’ve had every Saturday, Tuesday or Friday, it is tough to get the right balance between training and recovery,” added MacGregor.
“We’ve maybe not had as much time as we’d have liked to work on the training field, but we have had a couple of days here and there.
“It has gone from having few games at all to having them coming thick and fast every few days.
“We went through a really frustrating time with postponements nearly every week, so we knew this period would always come upon us at some stage, with fixtures piling up.
“We can’t look for excuses from that. We’ll just look to do our best tomorrow night and, hopefully, get a result. We just need to get the momentum going in the next couple of weeks.”
Given all that has befallen them and the drop-off in their form, it would seem a given that Caley Thistle would have dropped out of the play-off race by now.
They are still closer – marginally – to the bottom of the table than the top, sitting in seventh with a six-point cushion over basement side Alloa but a seven-point deficit to Queen of the South in the last play-off place.
📺 Tomorrow we're back in home action as we face Morton at the Caledonian Stadium
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) March 8, 2021
Morton are the visitors to Inverness tonight then they face a double-header against Raith Rovers, with wins vital to get their season back on track.
“We know we need to get a run together and pick up some wins,” MacGregor added. “That’s the most important thing as we’ve had a lot of draws recently. We’re working hard to turn that around.
“We’re looking at these last 10 games knowing we just need to get as many points as possible, it’s as simple as that – and then we’ll see where we are at the end of it.
“Queen of the South string a few wins together and they’re right up in the top end of the table now. We know what we need to do.”