TERRY Butcher is urging Caley Jags fans to turn out in force to see his new-look side take on his former club Coventry City on Saturday.
The Inverness CT manager was boss of the Sky Blues in the early 1990s and he’s relishing chance to see his revamped squad take on the League One team, who were relegated from the Championship last season.
Central defender Gary Warren has a hamstring injury and could miss out, but supporters who have not seen any pre-season games so far should see towering midfielder Ross Draper, full-back David Raven, Spanish goalkeeper Antonio Reguero and striker Jason Oswell.
Butcher may well have signed former Gillingahm and Oxford centre half Simon King by the time Coventry arrive at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
The 29-year-old, who played in the 1-0 win at Elgin City on Saturday, was set to play away to Highland League side Deveronvale last night (Wednesday, after the HN had gone to press) and Butcher said: “We’ll see how Simon does this week and, after that, we’ll hopefully get something sorted out. He has a lovely left foot and, at 29, he’s got good experience which could be a real asset to us.
“He was able to talk players, such as Josh Meekings and Graeme Shinnie, through the game at Elgin, which was good as well. If he came in, he’d be the last signing we could make because the budget would then be gone, but the younger players, like at other clubs, will have the chance to come in and do well this season.”
Youngsters such as Liam Polworth, Matthew Cooper, Connor Pepper and Martin Laing are in the first-team pool for the new campign.
On Saturday, Nick Ross stepped off the bench at Borough Briggs to fire ICT that 1-0 victory and Butcher hopes that’s a sign of things to come for the Scotland under-21 midfielder.
He said: “I was pleased for Nick to come on and score. He needs to be more effective next season and he showed how well he can finish on Saturday. A lot of players got 90 minutes and I’m delighted by how it’s coming together. The players are fit, we’re now just needing that sharpness and touch to follow.
“Playing Coventry, one of my old clubs, will be an ideal game for us. I’d encourage our supporters to come along and support the new players against a quality side, who were in the Championship last season.”
Coventry lost 1-0 to Ross County last night (Wednesday) – 24 hours after ex-Rangers striker John Fleck’s hat-trick helped fire them to a 5-0 stroll at Brora Rangers.
Meanwhile, with Dundee being invited into the SPL this week, Butcher is looking forward to renewing rivalries with the Dark Blues.
He said: “We had a fair few tussles with Dundee in Division One and they were usually really good games.
“I think we were unbeaten against them when we won the league, apart from the Challenge Cup final. We enjoy going to Dens Park and we look forward to these fixtures.”