Published: 19/12/2008 00:00 - Updated: 25/11/2011 15:38

Boss set to sell to get new faces

Caley Thistle target St. Johnstone striker Steven Milne keeps an eye on Grant Munro.
Caley Thistle target St. Johnstone striker Steven Milne keeps an eye on Grant Munro.

CRAIG Brewster will look to further trim his squad in January as he prepares to try and bring up to three new players to Caley Thistle during the transfer window. The departures of Markus Paatelainen and Barry Wilson have already freed up places within the current squad, but director of football, Graeme Bennett, maintains that "one or two" more are set to leave the club next month. This in turn will allow Caley Thistle manager Brewster to bring in new faces with St Johnstone striker Steven Milne a possibility, albeit now a slight one, according to Inverness manager Brewster. The Highland Capital side did enquire about 28-year-old Milne, who has scored seven goals in 15 appearances this season, during the last transfer window, but their approach was rebuffed by the current Division One league leaders. Whether Brewster renews his interest in Milne come January remains to be seem, but he is sure of one thing, however, and that is the players coming in will be experienced individuals. His decision to go with a younger squad has brought about its difficulties this season and Brewster now concedes that with the backing of the Caley Thistle board, he will look to bring in players with a bit more know-how. "I am looking to strengthen the squad," he stated. "I don't exactly know the budget, but the chairman has said if I come up with the names then the board will do their best to try and bring them in. "I think I need a little bit more experience now. We went with the younger players, but I feel we just need some players who have been around the block a few times." Brewster may be working hard in an attempt to freshen up his squad with new faces, but he is also hopeful of keeping three of Caley Thistle's key players at the club beyond the summer of 2009. Goalkeeper Michael Fraser and the midfield duo of Don Cowie and Ian Black are all out of contract in the summer and have yet to put pen to paper on new deals to stay with Inverness. The trio will all be free to sign pre-contracts with other clubs in the new year, but with reported interest in both Cowie and Black from other SPL teams, Caley Thistle are bracing themselves to receive offers to sign the pair before the close of the January transfer window. Bennett, however, maintains he is not even entertaining that idea and insists all the club is focused on is trying to persuade all three to remain in the Highland Capital beyond May next year. "I can understand why the players want to wait until January comes around to see what happens," he stated. "If I were in that situation I would probably do the same thing. "However, we have made them good offers and to be fair I think the players have recognised that and appreciate that we're keen to keep them. Not for one moment, however, have I considered that these three could leave in January for a fee. The mind set is simply to get them to stay. But if a player whose deal ran out at the end of the season did sign a pre-contract with another team then we would have to look at it in terms of doing what is best for the squad." Another player out of contract at the end of the current campaign is Iain Vigurs, although the midfielder is preparing to pledge his future to the club by signing a new deal. Vigurs, who signed from Elgin City two years ago, changed his attitude towards football this season after being criticised for his laid back approach. He admits he now treats each training session like a matchday and this has won praise from Brewster, who is keen to offer him an extension to his contract. "It is brilliant because it shows that you are wanted," Vigurs said. "To offer a contract now means that they are giving you some stability and to have that in football is reassuring because you can kick on with your game and not think about where you are going to be next season." sports@inverness-courier.co.uk

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