Inverness Caledonian Thistle midfielder Scott Allardice thrives on laughs and hard work
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Have a look at our brand new digital subscription packages!
SCOTT Allardice admits that Covid-19 restrictions played a big part in killing Caley Thistle’s promotion dream last season.
A year, on the reverse is true – with easing restrictions and a return to sociability in and around the stadium and city creating a “band of brothers” type bond within the squad.
Against Morton this weekend, the Caley Jags players will look to return to winning ways after the disappointment of a first serious setback in defeat at Hamilton last time out in the league.
Midfielder Allardice, now in his second season with the club, has been a consistently strong performer for the side and admits he is enjoying the new campaign a lot more than the last.
“For me it was a strange one last year with coronavirus. Everything changed, not just in terms of the shortened season, but for our training day,” the 23-year-old former Dundee United and Celtic youth said.
“We were basically just working, going home in our own cars and then sitting in the house because of restrictions. This year, with everything opening up, we’re bonding in the mornings and around each other a lot more through the day.
“It helps the team spirit just being around the place every day, having a laugh and a joke and then going out to train.
“It was tough during lockdown, but we’re actually at an advantage up here, given where Inverness is. It is a fair trip from the central belt so everyone lives up here.
“Everyone is in and around each other to go and socialise, bond, do stuff after training and just be around each other. That brings a lot of benefits and good things because players understand each other more as a person. It’s more than just football.
“It has probably fed into the changing room and now onto the pitch. We are a close-knit bunch and it probably helps results long term.”
Allardice felt beating Elgin City was crucial to restoring momentum after the Accies setback, with three points against Morton now vital to protect Caley Thistle’s lead in the Championship title race.
“We have started well, but Hamilton was our first real setback. It is important we go and beat Morton on Saturday. We fought back to win and it was good character from the boys.
“Had we lost again, people would have made noise about us losing our way in the campaign.
“We’ve shown different sides to our character this season. In games that have been scrappy and a bit of a battle, we’ve done enough to get the win. The Partick win was our best performance yet and we just feel we need to produce that more often.”