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Billy Dodds hoping to rekindle successful partnership with Michael Gardyne at Caley Thistle

Michael Gardyne helped Ross County win the League Cup in 2016.
Michael Gardyne helped Ross County win the League Cup in 2016.

Caley Thistle manager Billy Dodds hopes his prior experience of working with Michael Gardyne can bring the best out of the veteran winger.

Gardyne has joined Inverness on a one-year deal after leaving Highland rivals Ross County, where he enjoyed a long association amounting to nearly 12 years over three spells.

The 35-year-old previously worked under Dodds, who was assistant to Jim McIntyre for a three-year spell at Dingwall, during which time the club won the League Cup in 2016.

Dodds feels his understanding of Gardyne’s qualities can make his switch over the Kessock Bridge a successful one.

Billy Dodds.

Dodds said: “It’s an easy one for me. My quote to Michael at the time was to realise how good he is.

“The wee man is a confident boy, but sometimes he would go against the best full-backs and give them such a hard time.

“I just wanted him to believe and we hit it off.

“Having spoken to him now, I’m bringing him here because of the job he can do. I know that from working with him, and when I sum him up I have to go back to the fact he has won the Championship twice and the League Cup final as well.

“I know what he can bring to Inverness, I know what he can do and the quality he has.

“That’s why it did take more than a few days to get him to come here.

“I worked hard to get him here, there was interest from other clubs. That’s why you have to work hard sometimes, just to make sure you get quality players to the club.”

Gardyne will be joined by his former Staggies team-mate Billy Mckay, who has returned for a third spell at Caledonian Stadium.

Billy Mckay

Dodds feels the pair will bring the firepower needed to fulfil Caley Jags’ ambition of competing for Championship promotion, and he added: “They will be big players in the forward areas in the pitch.

“I’m looking for quality there. I keep on using that word, because I know already these two players have it.

“But I know we already have quality at the club from what we did at the end of last season, and the kind of run we can go on.

“I have just added to that, because we have lost a few as well. We had to add, after losing Daniel MacKay, Brad Mckay, Scott Allan and Nikolay Todorov. I had to add that quality we lost.

“That’s what I want to bring, as that’s what’s going to give us that edge to hopefully get us into at least the play-offs or even the top of the league.

“That’s what we are aiming for and that’s why we have brought in that mixture of youth and experience, and quality.”

Inverness have defeated Clachnacuddin and Forres Mechanics in pre-season friendlies with another forward addition, Manny Duku, on target from the penalty spot in both matches.

Dodds feels the Dutchman, who joined from Raith Rovers, will add another dimension to his frontline.

He added: “I don’t want all my strikers to be the same. I want them to offer me something different, and Manny offers me that ability to go over the top of teams. His goalscoring record speaks for itself.

“I want all my strikers to be different and Manny certainly fills one of them.”

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