AT least two new players are being targeted by Caley Thistle manager John Hughes as he hopes the club dips into its "rainy day fund".
Hughes feels the desperate injury situation, which has seen him deprived of at least eight first-team players, warrants the board making extra funds available for him to add to the squad.
There is an acceptance, however, that he has a responsibility to ensure the club remains on a sound financial footing and does not bring in a player simply to make up the numbers.
The Inverness manager played his cards close to his chest yesterday but is hopeful of having "one or two" players back from injury for the game against St Johnstone. Josh Meekings may play through the pain barrier, a long-standing adductor injury and a knee knock picked up against Motherwell, if required.
But Hughes is hoping the defender does not have to do so again and instead is able to call on fresh bodies.
"In any business, there’s always a wee hidey-hole somewhere, saved for a rainy day. You hope you never have to use it," he said. "It’s raining now.
"With all the bad luck coming in one go, I want to bring two or three players into the club if I possibly can. It might cost us a wee bit and I don’t know if that money us there.
"There is an understanding we cannot just keep spending money. You have a part to play as manager to protect the club financially."
Special circumstances was cited by the former Hibernian and Falkirk chief before, while looking to recruit injury cover for Dean Brill, and is hoping the same applies now.
Work continues on identifying potential targets who are either available for loan or on free transfers. Hughes concedes that at times, it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
"We’re working very hard to see if anyone will do us a favour but if your mate is a car salesman, does he give you a car for nothing?" he added. "The quality of players is all important — the quality I think the dressing room deserves. You want them to go ‘wow’ and for it to give them a lift."
If Inverness do not add to their squad before the trip to McDiarmid Park tomorrow, Lewis Horner looks set to be one of the beneficiary’s of Caley Thistle’s injury nightmare.
Horner finished the game against Motherwell after the Caley Jags lost Gary Warren and Meekings, on top of already-absent full-back Carl Tremarco.
This season represents an opportunity to make up for lost time for the versatile midfielder, for whom a change of position could see a change in fortunes.
"I had a chat with the gaffer before I signed my new deal and he said he wanted me here. It might mean a change of position, to go and slot in somewhere else to get my chance. A lot of lads are out so wherever I get selected, there’s a chance for me to nail down that position," he said.
"When I came back, I didn’t want to be that squad player again who was left in the stands. It gets very frustrating not being involved and you lose that Saturday feeling not being involved for so long.
"I came here and I was buzzing. I wanted to really show people what I could do after the disappointment of being let go by Hibs, along with other things that happened. It was a disappointing season personally because I wasn’t able to get into the team."
Competition in the centre of the park, which has been increased by the addition of Nat Wedderburn and Richie Foran’s gradual return.
"There’s a lot of central midfielders at the club and that’s always a hard position to nail down. Drapes and Tans had a great season last year and right-back is definitely an option, as we’ve not got many players that can play there, probably only Josh and David," added Horner.
"Losing Graeme (Shinnie) in a way will help me, because he used to go and slot in at right-back when David was missing. Perhaps now David can swap to left-back which will give me a chance."