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Russell Latapy, Inverness' Assistant Manager

BRINGING in Russell Latapy as assistant manager has helped winger Marley Watkins improve his game.

Since the former Soca Warrior joined the coaching staff at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, Watkins believes Latapy’s football philosophy can only benefit him and his Caley Jags teammates.

The Trinidadian followed manager John Hughes to the Highlands and during his playing days with Hibernian, Rangers and Falkirk and was known for his penchant for the innovative.

“You can tell in training that Russell was a player with a bit of skill. He’s nutmegged a few of the boys, but not me yet!” Watkins said.

“He’s good and he likes to play football the right way — on the deck. He also likes to take you to one side and will tell you a few things to help your game, which is good.

“Both myself and Aaron (Doran), with our ability, just need to show that end product whether it’s a cross or a shot.

“Russell wants us to be creative, but to keep it simple in our half of the pitch. Then, when you’re in the final third, just play with freedon, express yourself and make stuff happen.”

While delivering some promising performances this season, including netting his first goal in the 3-0 derby triumph over Ross County in February, the former Hereford man believes there is more to come from him next season.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect coming up here, but looking back I’ve had some man of the match performances, so I’ve had my good moments,” he said.

“Because I know what will be coming next season, it’s going to be easier for me to prepare for it. There’s been moments where I’ve been really good, but then there’s been times where I’ve been a bit inconsistent.

“I’ll work on my game over the summer and next season I will come back stronger.”The Caley Jags have their first post-split fixture this Friday as they welcome Aberdeen to the Highland capital, with sights still firmly set on snatching a European birth.

Inverness are eight points behind third-placed Motherwell with five games to go and have a midweek trip to Fir Park on the 7th May.

Watkins insists Caley Thistle will not be getting ahead of themselves as they seek to crown a dream season.

“Trying to get into Europe is the aim, but we’ve got to take it one game at a time. However, there’s no reason why we can’t get good results in all of them,” he said.

“In patches we’ve played well. Against Ross County I felt we were particularly good. Both myself and Aaron came into the side and we gave the team some width, but we also kept the ball really well.”