New Caley Thistle head coach Billy Dodds credits his spell as the club’s interim assistant with giving him the drive to permanently return to football.
Dodds has been appointed on a two-year deal at Caledonian Stadium, replacing John Robertson who has moved upstairs to a sporting director role.
The former Ross County assistant stepped in as number two to Neil McCann who temporarily took charge when Robertson was on compassionate leave last season.
It was his first post since leaving County along with Jim McIntyre in 2017, with the former Scotland, Aberdeen and Rangers striker having predominantly worked as a media pundit since.
Inverness won their first six games after Dodds was appointed, and the 52-year-old feels the success he enjoyed alongside McCann has set strong foundations for next season.
Dodds said: “Coming in for those six or seven weeks was brilliant for me. I went away for a couple of days, as Scot knows, and I had a think about it.
“It was one of the best decisions I ever made in football, because when I decided to take the number two role I thoroughly enjoyed it.
“It was unexpected when I was asked to come in as a number two, but I think it gave me the appetite to really enjoy my football again.
“It’s just a great place to be. We had success at the club, and with the type of player that’s here we know the pathway to where we are hopefully going.
“When the process came up, it was a no-brainer to go and get interviewed.
“It was an easy decision, and once Scot offered me the job I just couldn’t wait to get started.
“I loved my time here. I think you saw that with performance levels, and the way I was about the club, and we got results.
“It was a big factor in me making the decision to come here.”
Despite Inverness’ strong finish to the season they narrowly missed out on the promotion play-offs, ending the campaign fifth in the Championship.
Dodds says improving on that position is the minimum expectation, adding: “We must be in the play-offs at least. That’s the remit here.
“I know the job, I know what’s got to be done. I know the players I have got and I know where I want to go and what’s expected.
“You can throw it out, but it’s a realistic expectation.”