David Carson is hopeful the bulk of Caley Thistle’s squad will follow his lead by remaining at the club next term.
Inverness missed out on the promotion play-offs, despite going on a fine seven-match unbeaten run towards the end of the campaign, under interim manager Neil McCann.
Efforts are already under way to tie down the squad for next season, with Englishman Carson pledging his future to the Highlands by signing a new three-year deal.
Shane Sutherland, Scott Allardice and Anthony McDonald are among those who have also signed extended deals in recent weeks.
A number of players are now out of contract, including Nikolay Todorov, Miles Storey and Kevin McHattie, however, Carson hopes the majority of the existing squad remains intact.
Carson said: “The squad togetherness at the minute is unbelievable.
“The work rate of what we have been doing has been phenomenal. We can only use it as a positive, the run we went on.
“You could see the way we were fighting. Against Dundee we went down to nine men and actually went on and looked like we didn’t have nine men. We got the first goal, but unfortunately we didn’t hold on.
“The togetherness has been brilliant. It will be nice if some of the boys get signed and get settled, because I think we’ve got a really good squad.
“That’s why I have signed – because I know we are good enough to get back to where we need to be in the Premiership.
“It showed in the run of games we went on.”
With Inverness still missing out on the chance to compete for promotion, despite their strong end of season form, Carson pointed to inconsistency earlier in the campaign as the reason for them falling short.
Carson feels a strong start to the new season will be vital to Caley Jags’ promotion prospects, as they look to end a five-year stay in the Championship.
He added: “We have just got to regroup and start well to next season, that is going to set us off.
“We can’t be losing games like we did at the start of this season. Hopefully we start well and continue that form right throughout the season.
“We didn’t start very well, and ultimately that has cost us.
“We know going into next season we need to start well, because we need to be in the driving seat to look after our results.”
Former Blackburn Rovers youth player Carson was sidelined until February with a knee injury, but was a standout performer for the Highlanders following his return.
Although he only played 18 matches, Carson was named supporters’ player of the year at the end of the campaign.
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) April 30, 2021
The 25-year-old hopes he can carry that momentum into next term, adding: “It has been frustrating. The last game I played before I came back in the Ayr game was nigh on a year before.
“To come back and play as many games as I have, on a Saturday and Tuesday, on a personal level I’m pleased and happy with that.
“I have got myself signed on a new deal, I’m delighted to get it done.
“I’m just looking to try and push the club forward as much as I can with the rest of the boys.
“We ultimately need to win games and get the club back to where we belong. That’s why I stayed.”