Roddy MacGregor is adapting to his right-hand role at Caley Thistle – but insists he’ll play wherever he’s needed to keep the Highlanders flying high.
The 19-year-old homegrown talent is being played more on the right flank than centrally this season, having been asked to try it under interim manager Neil McCann last term.
The energetic teenager, who will be unleashed at Morton in tonight’s Scottish Cup third round replay, is taking the experience in his stride.
He said: “It is different. I never played out wide when I was younger, but the coaches and staff have helped me a lot.
“I played a bit on the right last season under Neil McCann, which was good, but I am happy to play wherever I’m needed.
“Whether that is in the middle, the number 10, or wherever. I am not too fussed. As long as I’m learning and improving in every performance then I’ll be happy.
“I have played a lot of games this season, so can’t complain. I have been contributing to the team a fair bit, so hopefully I can keep that run going until the end of this year and into next year.”
MacGregor determined to kill the tie
Caley Thistle went top of the Championship at the weekend thanks to Friday’s 1-0 victory over Kilmarnock and Arbroath and Raith Rovers drawing 0-0 the next day.
Tonight’s opponents Morton, meanwhile, sacked manager Gus MacPherson after their 2-2 home league draw with Ayr United.
This cup replay comes after the recent 1-1 draw in Inverness and MacGregor reckons the fired-up players will be eager to get the job done at the second time of asking.
He said: “We’re still in the cup and that’s the main thing. We could have been knocked out last week. That has given us more motivation to go there and kill the tie.
“The Scottish Cup is a really big competition for this club, so we know we need to try and get through.”
And the attacking midfielder is confident all Morton’s troubles at the wrong end of the division won’t throw ICT off track as they seek to reach a fourth-round away tie at Premiership Motherwell next month.
He added: “Obviously their manager has left, so it could work either way for them. They could maybe get a lift from it, I don’t know. We will just focus on ourselves.
“We know if we play well, we’re a really good team capable of winning matches. We’re focused on how we’re going to play and hopefully we can come away with a result.”
‘Positive’ Dodds keeping side on track
Caley Jags head coach Billy Dodds is known for his upbeat nature and MacGregor explained he keeps the group grounded, whether results are positive or not.
He said: “He is a really positive guy, which is great for us to have as a manager. We know the season will be full of ups and downs.
“We are not going to win every game, so we need to keep that level-head when we’re not winning matches as well as when we are winning. It is all really positive, especially after Friday night.”
MacGregor fancies trip to Fir Park
Having the chance to land a trip to Motherwell in the next round is an extra spur for ICT as they arrive in Greenock for this replay, which comes just four days before a league match at the same venue.
He added: “We were rubbing our hands when the draw was made, but we have to take care of business on Tuesday night first. We know it will be a tough game at Morton.
“It always is, so we need to get our heads on that and use the tie against Motherwell as motivation.”
Fans made a real difference to ICT
MacGregor was thrilled to help ICT beat Killie on Friday to replace them on top spot thanks to a Sean Welsh screamer.
He also praised the vocal fans who gathered in the West Stand and made themselves heard in a new drive encouraged by the club to assist the players.
He said: “It was brilliant and it’s something we’ve missed at the stadium for a good while. It was great to have support like that singing all the way through the game.
“A few of my pals were in there and it was good to see them giving it large. Hopefully the boys can come to all the games and make a real noise like that.”