Inverness defender Graeme Shinnie says ditching the team’s gung-ho attitude which flavoured last season’s performances has been the key to the league-leaders’ unbeaten start to the season.
The Highlanders currently top the Scottish Premiership table with the only blot on their five-game list of results so far a commendable 2-2 draw at Celtic Park.
Remarkably, their four wins over St Mirren, Dundee United, Motherwell and Hearts have all been achieved without a goal being conceded and left-back Shinnie says that is exactly the reason why they are flying high this term.
By contrast, Caley Thistle missed out on a Europa League slot in the season just gone after conceding ten goals in their final five games, handing third place to St Johnstone.
Shinne said: “The area we have improved on massively is at the back. Last season we were more about our goal-scoring and putting bodies forward. But we ended up losing goals and putting ourselves under pressure.
“This season the clean sheets we have got are very promising and the boys at the back can be very proud of that. But we won’t rest on that and we keep doing what we are doing and hope that will bring us a few more shut-outs.”
The promising start made by Terry Butcher’s men has already got some enthusiastic fans speculating on whether they can go one better than last season and secure the club’s first ever qualification for Europe.
But Shinne insists the team are not getting carried away. “We are going to keep our feet on the ground and just keep looking to the games that are coming up one by one,” he said.
The next match for Inverness to focus on is at Rugby Park, with Kilmarnock hoping to pick up their first victory of the campaign.
Michael Gardyne is looking to hit the ground running with Killie strike partner Kris Boyd after getting two weeks to settle in before his home debut.
Gardyne’s link-up play with Boyd showed signs of promise when he made his debut off the bench in their 2-1 defeat at Motherwell before the international break.
Gardyne said: “People keep saying it could be a good partnership. The little and large thing keeps getting brought up. I’m actually not that small.
“We linked quite well against Motherwell so hopefully if I start at the weekend I can pick up where I left off.”