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Sam Pearson reveals Marley Watkins influence ahead of Caley Thistle loan switch

Sam Pearson.
Sam Pearson.

Caley Thistle winger Sam Pearson is eager to follow Marley Watkins’ pathway into the Wales national team.

Pearson joined Inverness from Bristol City in January, on a loan deal until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old had made five appearances for the Robins prior to his move north, and has impressed in his early outings for Billy Dodds’ men.

During his time at Ashton Gate, Cardiff-born Pearson became acquainted with former Caley Jags attacker Watkins.

Welsh international Watkins, who won the Scottish Cup with Inverness in 2015, spent three years with City prior to returning to Scotland with Aberdeen.

Pearson revealed Watkins was a strong sounding board for him ahead of his own move to the Highlands.

Having clocked up two appearances for Wales’ under-21s side, Pearson is hungry for more caps.

Pearson said: “Marley is a Welsh lad as well. When he was injured he played for the under-23s when I was playing for them.

Marley Watkins celebrates scoring in the 2015 Scottish Cup final.

“I spoke to him before I came up and he told me to go for it. He said it was good here, so I took his advice and told him I was coming, and he wished me the best.

“It’s an honour for me to put the Welsh shirt on. We’ve got a camp in March, with Switzerland away and Bulgaria at home.

“It’s an amazing feeling representing your country at such a high level against such good opposition.

“It’s hard to explain the feeling. You’ve got to be 100% with Wales, even at training you can’t be slacking at all as there is a lot of quality there.”

Making most of short spell in Highlands

Pearson made his Caley Jags debut from the bench in a 1-1 draw at Dunfermline last month, but has started all three of the Highlanders’ matches since.

Sam Pearson in action for Caley Thistle.

With Inverness striving for promotion to the Premiership this season, Pearson hopes to make the most of his temporary stint.

He added: “I’m really enjoying it. I think I’m playing well at the moment. The manager has been really good, telling me what he wants from me. Hopefully I’m doing it on the pitch.

“Personally I’m just looking to get as much game time as I can. I want to prove to people what I can do, and hopefully go back to Bristol and do it there.

“As a whole I want to get promotion, and possibly win the league. We’ve just got to keep going, keep pushing on to get the results we need to get that over the line.”

Inverness keeping up pressure at Championship summit

Caley Jags are back in Championship action when they host Ayr United on Saturday.

It is Inverness’ first match since they rallied to secure a late 3-3 draw with Partick Thistle last Wednesday.

Pearson, who was among four January additions at Caledonian Stadium, hopes to kick start a fresh push as Dodds’ side aim to reduce the six-point gap beneath leaders Arbroath.

He added: “In the game against Partick Thistle we were all disappointed with the result.

“We all took it as a loss because we all knew we could have gone on to win that. We probably would have if we started as we finished.

“There was no game straight after it, and that was pretty disappointing to have a long 10-day break.

“We are all raring to go and try to get the win on Saturday though.

“The extra days on the training pitch are only going to benefit us for the games coming up.

“Getting to know the boys more, and connecting with them in training, is going to help us bond more on the pitch. Hopefully that can help us get the results we need.”

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