Former Caley Thistle director of football Graeme Bennett believes history provides the best blueprint for Inverness’ new manager to achieve success.
Inverness are searching for a new manager, after John Robertson moved upstairs to take up a newly-created sporting director role.
Robertson had been on compassionate leave since February, with Neil McCann having stepped in to take interim charge during the closing stages of the season.
McCann is not in contention to take on the job permanently, however, Billy Dodds, who assisted him during the majority of his short tenure, is believed to be among the frontrunners.
Inverness have set a deadline of today for applications, with interviews expected to take place next week.
Robertson has stepped aside after two spells at Caledonian Stadium, having led the club to promotion to the top flight during his first stint in 2004.
After returning in 2017 following the club’s relegation to the Championship, Robertson was tasked with bringing through a number of young players such as Daniel MacKay, who was recently sold to Hibernian.
The likes of Scott Allardice, Robbie Deas, Roddy MacGregor and Cameron Harper are still at Caley Jags, and Bennett feels the longevity of the young talent holds the key to the club repeating its previous success.
Bennett said: “John has had to take some of the young players in. Hopefully the club will reap the rewards of that in years to come.
“I look back to 2002 when John inherited a squad of players who had played a massive number of games for the club.
“People like Russell Duncan, Roy McBain, Stuart Golabek and Ross Tokely had all played 200, 300 or 400 games for the club by then.
“Hopefully in the future Caley Thistle can get back to that, where they have a squad that knows what the club is all about.
“I think the turnover of players has been too great over a number of years, and that wasn’t the case when John arrived in 2002.
“In 2017, when he came back, he had a lot of new boys coming into the club and it’s difficult to get it going after that.”
Robertson’s success during his first stint in charge attracted the attention of former club Hearts, who lured him back to Tynecastle later in 2004.
Bennett also faced similar scenarios in losing Steve Paterson to Aberdeen, Craig Brewster to Dundee United and Terry Butcher to Hibernian during his time at the club.
Former Caley Jags midfielder Bennett hopes the club can follow in its tradition of developing managers when the new boss takes charge.
He added: “We have been very fortunate with Steve Paterson taking us to a different level with a different type of football.
“John took us into the SPL, which we never knew if we would get to. It was always a dream, but to take us there.
“They moved on to other clubs, and we also had that with Craig Brewster and Terry Butcher.
“That goes hand-in-hand. Hopefully sooner rather than later, whoever the next manager is, he will encourage clubs to be interested in him – because it means the club is doing well.”