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Stuart Golabek: John Robertson is ideal fit for Caley Thistle boss role

Ex-Inverness captain Golabek says the re-appointment of Robbo would make sense. Meanwhile, the ICT's supporters' trust have called a meeting ahead of this weekend's clash with Dundee United.

Stuart Golabek in his ICT kit
Stuart Golabek, pictured in his ICT playing days, in 2010. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Former Caley Thistle skipper Stuart Golabek reckons John Robertson is the ideal fit to replace Billy Dodds as the Scottish Championship club’s new boss.

It would be the third time Robertson, ICT’s sporting director, would be in charge at the club, having guided the Highlanders into the top-flight from 2002-2004 and bossed them for four years in the second-tier until stepping down for personal reasons in 2021.

Golabek played under Robbo, who is in interim charge with another ex-Inverness manager Charlie Christie following the sacking of Dodds and assistant Barry Wilson on Sunday.

Caley Thistle, who host second-placed Dundee United on Saturday, have just one point from their first five league matches and have gone nine successive games overall without a win.

John Robertson, who could be in the running to be the new Caley Thistle boss
John Robertson was boss of ICT until 2021. Image: SNS.

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Raith Rovers left ICT bottom of the pack in the Championship, two points behind toilers Ayr United and three points below Morton.

That form cost Dodds his job – just a few months after he signed a two-year contract on the back of reaching the Scottish Cup final.

Golabek felt the club pulled the trigger too soon on Dodds, but believes Robertson – should he want to become the boss again – would be a popular pick.

After ex-St Johnstone double-cup-winning gaffer Callum Davidson, Robertson is the second favourite for the job with betting firm McBookie.

‘Shrewd’ John Robertson makes sense for Caley Thistle job

Former defender Golabek, whose 11-year ICT career spanned 263 appearances before he departed in 2010, said: “With him being such a shrewd manager, John Robertson would be the obvious choice for the club’s new manager.

“He has a fantastic ability to work within a budget and attract players to Inverness. Part of that comes down to how he communicates and talks to players – he shows an enthusiasm for players to come and join him.

“He would be one I think the fans would want.

“Whether he sees himself going back to the job for a third time I’m not sure.

“He has a real affection for the club and his love affair with the club goes back a long way. It makes sense and he knows what’s going on at the club on a day-by-day basis. Very few know better than John.”

Golabek feels head of youth development Christie would be unlikely to want to return to frontline management, given his commitment to helping bring through stars of tomorrow.

Dodds deserved four more games

Although he is all for Robbo’s return, Golabek believes the board should have given Dodds four more matches to try to turn the team’s fortunes around.

He said: “It came a wee bit early for me. I’d have given Billy until the end of the first round of league games.

“He lost key players in Scott Allardice, Robbie Deas and Jay Henderson, who was of course on loan. Deas and Allardice in particular offered a great deal of experience and were a couple of players they were really reliant on.

Inverness captain Sean Welsh during training
Injury has restricted Inverness captain Sean Welsh to just two games this season. Image: SNS.

“They’ve also been without their captain Sean Welsh for much of these games through injury.

“I think it was unfortunate Billy didn’t get that full first round of fixtures, to see where they were at after playing every team once. He was bedding in a new team and it could well have turned for them.

“By all accounts, they played well at Raith Rovers, but paid the price for not putting away one of their chances.

“I don’t feel this squad is as good as last season, having reached the Scottish Cup final and just missing out on the play-offs.

“He deserved a wee bit more time. Who’s to say they won’t pick up 12 points over the next four games?

“This is now a different and more difficult game for Dundee United on Saturday. For reasons we can’t explain, that’s when you can often get a response from players. This is the perfect chance for the players to respond, unfortunately on the back of Billy and Barry losing their jobs.

“I know fans have been voicing their concerns in recent weeks, but more now than ever, they need to get along and support the players this weekend.”

On Monday night, the Scottish Sun reported that ICT chiefs are keen to speak to Celtic coach Darren O’Dea about the role. The 36-year-old coaches the Hoops’ B team in the Lowland League from where striker Adam Brooks joined Inverness this summer.

Supporters’ trust keen to hear views

ICT’s Supporters’ Trust, meanwhile, are calling on as many people as possible to attend an open meeting on Saturday to discuss a recently-completed survey.

The meeting – which was was already in place before Sunday’s news – at the Innes Bar’s beer garden from noon until 2.15pm will allow fans to raise any other views on improving the matchday experience at the Caledonian Stadium.

As well as seeking to encourage a larger home support, areas raised for improvement within the survey included the car park, food stalls, and toilets.

The change of management is now likely to be a hot topic.

The Caledonian Stadium, Inverness.
The Caledonian Stadium, Inverness. Image: Mark Scates/SNS Group

The promotional message from the group reads: “It is vital we ensure the voices of supporters are not only heard in the stands, but also when it comes to having a say on key issues relating to the club.”

In light of Dodds and Wilson being sacked, the trust also released the following statement – urging everyone to back the new boss from day one.

They said: “Whilst it is always sad when someone loses their job, the start to the season has been very disappointing and it became clear that something had to change.

“Billy and Barry will be remembered for taking us to the 2023 Scottish Cup final, but now is time for change and we hope that all the fans can get behind the new manager when an appointment is made.”

Fans are asked to register their interest in attending the meeting by logging on to