Caley Thistle midfielder James Vincent believes club captain Richie Foran will have an important role to play both on and off the park as he prepares to return from a knee injury.
Foran has undergone two knee operations since he last started in a 2-1 defeat against Dundee United in March 2014, but despite making three substitute appearances earlier this season, he has been sidelined since September after suffering a further setback.
The Irishman is nearing a return, however, having played in Caley Jags’ last two Development League matches and Vincent believes Foran has been hugely influential and reckons the 35-year-old’s return will be as a major boost for seventh-placed Inverness.
Vincent said: “It’s good to have Richie back on the training pitch. He keeps us going and he’s a different type of character.
“He’s got all the players pushing in the right direction. Even when he wasn’t playing, Richie has been a key figure at the club.
“He has been great for me. He always talks to the players and brings the best out of them.
“He’s the one who organises all the time, that gets us together away from training and matches.
“It’s good to see him on the training ground. he’s looking good, too, so I’m sure it won’t be too long before he is in contention.”
Caley Jags have been hit by a succession of injury problems this season, which has left manager John Hughes’ squad depleted at various stages of the campaign.
With the majority of players having now returned, Vincent is optimistic the best is yet to come from the Highlanders, who will try to build on the 2-1 win against Kilmarnock last weekend at home to bottom-placed Dundee United on Saturday.
Vincent added: “The players returning will create competition for places which is always healthy.
“One day we had only eight or nine at training. I know other people have talked about it, and it has been the worst injury spell I’ve seen at any club.
“But we can’t use it as an excuse. It’s not the reason we have been inconsistent, but it is great to get them back and we can push on from here.”