As 2018/19 began it felt like Inverness remained unbeaten for an eternity. Yes that run of unbeaten games included 106 draws but they remained one of the league’s toughest opponents. They will look back at last season and kick themselves because only four or five of those draws needed to be turned into victories and all of a sudden they would have been on the verge of a league title.
John Robertson, a man who I doubted last summer, managed to shape his Inverness side into a very effective unit last year and they caused everyone problems (although they couldn’t quite get the better of Ross County).
Last season ended with playoff defeat against Dundee United but they enjoyed a Scottish Cup semi-final appearance and on the whole it was an enjoyable campaign for the fans.
With County now gone is it heading for a three-way battle between Inverness and the teams from Dundee?
Transfers In – Nikolay Todorov (Falkirk), James Vincent (Dundee), Mitchell Curry (Middlesbrough, loan), David Carson (Morpeth Town), James Keatings (Hamilton Academical)
Transfers Out – Darren McCauley (Derry City), Liam Polworth (Motherwell), Jack Brown (Fort William, loan), Anthony McDonald (Hearts, end of loan), Angus Beith (retired), Nathan Austin (Kelty Hearts), Joe Chalmers (Ross County), Owain Fon Williams (Hamilton)
Transfer Window Success? – Of all the teams in the Championship I think Inverness have maybe had the weakest summer in terms of recruitment. That isn’t necessarily a complete disaster, the nucleus of a very strong team still remains, but it hasn’t been the most exciting of summers.
Bringing in Todorov adds more height to the squad but he is very hit or miss. The signing of James Keatings should be a good one but he has had bad luck with injuries in recent seasons. They also still need bit more creativity in their central midfield but with so much height in the forward areas it might be that they concentrate their efforts out wide and in the penalty area.
The Manager – I like John Robertson as a person, I just still have a nagging doubt about him as a manager. That feeling is probably very unfair given his record with Inverness but for whatever reason I still hold a little bit of doubt about him (maybe it is just one of those random footballing views that we sometimes hold despite evidence to the contrary).
Robertson will probably view this season as a make or break one but only from the view that this is a year where they will view themselves as amongst the favourites for the league so if they do fail it might leave them in a bit of a state of purgatory as to what happens next.
The Hope – If I was an Inverness fan I would be pinning my hopes on promotion this season. Would I think that this squad have a shot at the title? I’m not so sure, but I would definitely be hoping for a playoff spot and to be finishing in the top three at the very least.
Inverness are one of, if not the most settled club in the division and that could be of real benefit when you look at 6 or 7 others having to either go through a rebuild or findings themselves having to restructure their budget.
Look Out For – I think that Inverness have the best winger in the division in Tom Walsh and he will be vital for John Robertson this season, especially if Inverness are planning on being more direct and allowing their wide players to influence the game.
Transfer and club information correct as of 30th July 2019