Josh Reid says Carl Tremarco has been among his biggest supporting influences despite him keeping the veteran Englishman out of Ross County’s side.
Teenager Reid has made an impressive step up to County’s side this season, making 16 appearances since being handed his debut on the opening day Premiership victory against Motherwell in August.
The 18-year-old has broken into the Scotland under-19 squad, and was earlier this month rewarded with an improved contract by the Staggies.
Reid’s breakthrough has resulted in limited game time for Tremarco, who joined County after being released by rivals Caley Thistle in the summer.
Tremarco has made just six appearances, and is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury he suffered in the recent 4-1 Betfred Cup victory over Elgin City.
Despite Reid’s performances reducing Tremarco’s playing opportunities, the Dingwall-born youngster says his fellow left back has shown unrelenting support in his development.
Reid said: “Carl Tremarco has been brilliant. He has probably wanted a bit more game time, but he has been terrific with me.
“Whenever I have a wee blip, or a not so good game, he will tell me what I need to do. He will sometimes say I need to get forward a bit more, or different positional stuff which he gets with playing in the position for so long.
“He has been very good, while Michael Gardyne and Iain Vigurs have as well.
“It’s just picking me up, giving me confidence boosts saying ‘you were brilliant there’ or ‘you were not so good there.’
“It’s just honest truths your parents wouldn’t tell you, which is a good thing.”
Reid’s only experience with Scotland’s under-19s ended in bizarre fashion, with the first match of a double header against England postponed after head coach Billy Stark received a positive Covid-19 at half-time.
That prompted the entire playing squad and the rest of the backroom staff to self-isolate for 14 days, which caused Reid to miss three Staggies matches.
Reid remains excited about his international prospects as he targets a step up into Scot Gemmill’s under-21s squad.
He acknowledges he faces a difficult task to compete with fellow left back Aaron Hickey, who left Hearts to join Serie A side Bologna in the summer.
He added: “I’m in an unfortunate position, with a lot of good left backs at my age and in the senior team.
“It will be hard but all I’ve got to do is concentrate on playing well week-in, week-out for Ross County, and hopefully the chance with Scotland under-21s will come.
“I’m not naturally loud on the pitch but especially without the fans being there, you’ve got to be able to speak.
“As the games have gone on, I think I have been more vocal on the pitch which the gaffer has told me I need to do.
“I couldn’t really have asked for a better bunch of senior pros to join up with in pre-season.
“We have good younger players and it is good to see the likes of Ben Williamson coming through.”
Reid is in line to face Celtic when County make the trip to Parkhead for their Betfred Cup last-16 tie on Sunday.
Having won their first round group section, Reid hopes the Staggies can rise to the challenge against Neil Lennon’s men, adding: “Topping the group was what we set out to do from the start of the Betfred Cup. Getting to the last 16 is a big opportunity.”