Andrew Considine has accused teams of dealing with Aberdeen's talented midfielder Peter Pawlett by trying to "boot him off the park".
Pawlett, 22, has been instrumental in helping the Dons into second place in the Scottish Premiership and into the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup where they will face St Johnstone next month.
The Pittodrie side are still in the Scottish Cup where they will take on Celtic.
Defender Considine, back in contention for the visit of Inverness in the league on Saturday after recovering from a calf injury, was discussing the reasons behind the club's recent form - Derek McInnes' side have won eight of their last nine games - with RedTV, the club's official television channel, when he remarked about Pawlett.
He said: "It is down to the great balance and experience and the young boys coming on a bit more in the last couple of years.
"The likes of Pete and Jacko (Ryan Jack) have made a massive difference and the likes of Barry (Robson) and Willo (Flood) coming in has really got the boys playing some cracking football.
"I have known Peter for years and all he has needed is a good run of games and bit of confidence and it has paid dividends.
"Every team that we play against tried to boot him off the park.
"He kind of reminds me how wee Ryan Fraser was when he was here, folk would just try and kick him all the time.
"But (with) the likes of Russell (Anderson) playing every week, he has been a massive player for us.
"He is so consistent, he has been playing some fantastic football and Mark Reynolds has been brilliant as well.
"Jamie Langfield has been outstanding this season and he should be in the Scotland squad. It has been really good.
"I have been watching all over the Christmas period and to be about the place, everyone is buzzing."
Aberdeen full-back Clark Robertson (knee) remains out, Nicky Low completes a two-match ban while winger Gregg Wylde left the club to sign for St Mirren.
John Hughes looked ahead to Inverness' clash with in-form Aberdeen at Pittodrie and said "bring it on."
The second-placed Dons are looking to make it five successive league wins and have already beaten Caley twice this season, the last victory coming in a thrilling 4-3 encounter in the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium last December.
Hughes' side have not won in five games but the Highlanders' boss told his club's YouTube channel: "Pittodrie is a difficult venue against an Aberdeen team who are beating everyone put in front of them at this moment in time.
"All I am saying is bring it on. I am looking forward to it.
"If it is anything like the last match it should be a cracker but hopefully we score the four goals.
"We are more than capable of going to Pittodrie and picking up the points. But we are going to have to concentrate from start to finish.
"It is a big ask of us but one I cannot wait for, because there are going to be a lot of questions asked of the team - but hopefully we will come up trumps and find the answers."
Hughes will be without suspended Gary Warren and Ross Draper while skipper Richie Foran remains out with a shoulder injury, which means a reshuffle in the Caley side - although the Caley boss is "hopeful" there will be one new player for Saturday as he said: "They are powerhouse players and it takes a lot of height out of our team.
"But you just need to shuffle the pack and it gives other people a chance.
"It is my job to do the best I can to help the boys pick up three points."
Hughes expects former team-mate and coaching assistant Russell Latapy to take up his post as Inverness number two at the start of next week.
The 45-year-old former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder, who also played for Dundee United, Hibernian and Rangers, was part of Hughes' side when he was in charge at Falkirk, where he also worked as a coaching assistant.
They were also team-mates at Easter Road and will team up again after Latapy left Portuguese side Boavista, where he was doing some coaching.
Hughes said: "Hopefully he will be here with us at the beginning of next week.
"He has been cleared by Boavista, he spoke to them and got their best wishes.
"Unfortunately for us he had a little bit of court business to do with the Trinidad FA for his time as Trinidad national manager and he had to appear in court.
"He is in Trinidad tying that up and if he is not here on Saturday, hopefully he is here next week."