Striker Adam Brooks is sure he can take tips from training under Duncan Ferguson and help fire Caley Thistle up the Championship table.
The 19-year-old was a summer signing by previous manager Billy Dodds and he’s been knocking on the door to secure first-team action having scored a hatful of goals for Celtic B in the Lowland League.
Last season alone, the ex-Hoops starlet, who moved north on an initial two-year deal, netted 13 goals in just 19 outings and is relishing the step up to the second-tier.
So far, he’s made 10 appearances for Inverness, but only three have been from the start.
In his most recent start, he scored in the 4-2 SPFL Trust Trophy loss at Arbroath in September – his only competitive ICT goal so far.
Poor results leading to a change of manager in that month wasn’t the easiest thing to deal with.
Brooks up for the fight at Inverness
However, Brooks says his focus remains the same with ex-Rangers, Everton and Newcastle star striker Duncan Ferguson now at the helm.
He said: “It was a tough start coming into the club and the previous manager getting sacked. Billy Dodds was the gaffer who brought me here, but that’s sadly part of football. These things happen.
“It’s just a case of trying to impress in training every day and when I come off the bench. Hopefully I can pick up a start and not lose my position from there.
“I’ve still got a positive mindset. The team are getting results, so it’s hard to break into the team when that’s the case. I understand that. We’re all here to fight for positions – it’s a good environment to be in.”
Change to have ex-strikers as bosses
The forward, who has played for Scotland at under-16, under-17 and under-19 levels, explained having top-class former strikers Dodds then Ferguson to learn from has been a massive boost at ICT.
He said: “In my whole career, I’ve had defenders as coaches, so it’s been handy to have had two former top strikers as managers at Inverness.
“It has been a big positive in terms of getting pointers at training in little drills for example. It’s been very good learning under the manager, who was a great player who played at the highest level.
“To learn wee things about being in and around the box has been really good for my game.”
Saturday is a ‘six-pointer’ – Brooks
If second-bottom Caley Thistle stretch their unbeaten run under Ferguson to five games by beating visitors Ayr United this Saturday, they will move to within two points of their mid-table opponents.
And Brooks said the players are in no doubt about how vital a victory could be against Ayr.
He added: “I have either played in or watched every game this season and the standard of teams is very good. It’s a tough league to play in, with there only being 10 clubs in the league.
“Every side seems to be able to beat one another. It’s a really competitive league and we’re in a good position now to kick on.
“It is a six-pointer on Saturday. It’s a good opportunity for us if we can win it and the gaffer has put the message across that this is probably our biggest game so far.
“It’s a big one and we’re all looking forward to it. You can tell that in training – the intensity has been really up there, so hopefully we can the three points.”
High intensity helping ICT’s squad
Last weekend, ICT held unbeaten Championship leaders Dundee United to a 1-1 draw at Tannadice and Brooks explained it further raised the mood within the club.
He added: “It was a really good result at the weekend. Everyone is in high spirits and we know the game on Saturday is just as big.
“The start we had to the season wasn’t great. Since the manager has come in, he’s turning it around in terms of the intensity at training and that is fed throughout the whole group.
“You can see the hunger and desire on the park. It’s definitely been positive since he’s come in.”
Fans invited to second local meeting
Caley Thistle Supporters’ Trust are holding their second public meeting for ICT fans at the Innes Bar beer garden on Innes Street this Saturday from noon until 2.15pm, allowing time to get to the game against Ayr United at the Caledonian Stadium.
The first meeting in September attracted around 50 fans, who gave opinions to club representatives on a wide variety of topics, including relating to matchday experiences and the request for better communication between the club and supporters.