Head coach Billy Dodds was thrilled to see his subs give Caley Thistle the edge they needed to secure a valuable 1-1 draw with Raith Rovers in the Championship.
McAlear’s late cracker cancelled out a superb strike from Ethan Ross in the first half.
The on-loan Norwich City midfielder came on at the start of the second half along with striker Manny Duku to enliven a flat first 45 minutes.
He said: “The goal gave Raith a real boost in confidence. You can see they have good ball players and they were the better team in the first half. They passed the ball about and they believed.
“They caused us a few problems so sometimes you need to do something to change it and that’s what I did. I changed formation, which I don’t like doing.
“It was the right thing to do, to go a straight match-up and see who had the better team and who wanted it more. That’s what happened. We could have won it or lost it in the end.
“That’s what you get when you take a chance and you’re pushing for an equaliser. I would have loved three points but a draw was fair.”
Raith boss John McGlynn felt his players deserved to be leaving with full points.
He said: “It’s gutting for the lads to not go away from here with a win. We put in so much effort and were 1-0 up for so long.
“The game had two great goals, real individual goals – unstoppable ones. “We played very well, we created chances and were maybe a bit shy to shoot in the first half.
“Inverness had a lot of the ball in the second half but we defended well and it took a worldie to beat Jamie MacDonald.
“We were disappointed to lose Ethan Ross because they couldn’t handle him.
“So it’s disappointing to only get a point but we will take the positives.”
Caley Jags stay at home next weekend when they take on Queen of the South before facing Dunfermline Athletic in a rearranged game the following weekend.