Caley Thistle manager John Hughes has told his players they have to dig deep if they are to haul the club up the Scottish Premiership.
The 10 men of Inverness hit back from behind to earn a point at home to Dundee on Saturday but the 1-1 draw means Caley Jags are ninth in the division after winning just three of their opening 12 matches.
One of the factors in the Scottish Cup holders’ sluggish start to the campaign has been a crippling injury list, with attacker Miles Storey joining a list of absentees which now stands at nine.
Storey, who has a knee injury, joins Ross Draper (ankle), Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo (Achilles), Tobi Sho-Silva (hamstring), Dani Lopez (groin), Jordan Roberts (groin) and long term absentees Aaron Doran, Dean Brill and Richie Foran on the sidelines, while David Raven will miss Saturday’s trip to Motherwell after his red card against Dundee at Caledonian Stadium.
Despite the lengthy list of absentees Hughes insists his players cannot feel sorry for themselves as they bid to get their campaign going.
He said: “We need to start getting on a winning run and need to do it with the players we’ve got. There can be no excuses.
“We dominated the first half against Dundee but the penalty and sending-off changed the whole dynamic of the game.
“We did well to fight back with 10 men to get a draw and maybe our penalty will be the little spark needed to kick start us.”
The return of captain Gary Warren, who came off the bench in the 80th minute to make his first appearance since suffering a broken leg on the opening day of the season was a welcome sight but the Caley Jags manager insists the defender will not be rushed back.
He said: “Gary was only put on the bench for morale reasons and I wasn’t going to play him but with 10 or 15 minutes to go, he was warming up and came to me in the dugout basically telling me to get him on.
“It was great to see him back but we will take our time with him. He hasn’t played for more than three months.”