Caley Thistle chief executive Scot Gardiner has paid tribute to outgoing coaching duo Neil McCann and Billy Dodds for their work at the club.
McCann came in as interim manager at the end of February, when John Robertson was given compassionate leave, then Dodds joined the club to help fill the void left by Scott Kellacher.
The Caley Jags put together an impressive run of form and narrowly missed out on the play-offs in the Championship. Their hopes of promotion were only ended by the 3-0 defeat at Hearts 10 days ago.
McCann came into the job having not worked in management since leaving Dundee in 2018, while Dodds had been without a coaching role since being let go by Ross County in 2017.
Caley Thistle CEO Gardiner is thrilled with how the appointments worked in very trying circumstances.
Gardiner said: “They’ve been terrific. It was very difficult the situation they came into, particularly Neil on his own in the first instance.
“The decision to bring in Billy had exactly the desired effect we were going for. The two of them, along with Barry (Wilson) and Ryan (Esson) have been great under extraordinarily difficult and emotional circumstances.
“It was testament to how well they did that we almost get there. The great fear was that we could go the other way at that stage, particularly with everything else going on. Losing John and Scott had a huge effect on the club as a whole as well as the players.
“To have the amount of games that we had, 18 in 66 days, with the size of squad we had, was going to be a test in any circumstances. But in this circumstance they did brilliantly.
“I was sure of the appointment of Neil, but he was coming in very difficult circumstances. I was sure Billy would make an impact. We were playing some really great football.”
McCann delivered some memorable victories for Caley Thistle, including the 4-1 win at Morton and the 3-1 triumph over Ross County in the Scottish Cup.
Gardiner added: “The County game and the St Mirren game in particular were terrific. County, for all the reasons that come with winning it, and St Mirren – although we lost I felt we were terrific.
“Normally when you lose a goal in the last minute you’re devastated. I wasn’t because I was so proud of how they played and how the guys had set them up.”